Not only was Manchester’s Lance Lewis (aka Lance Williams and then Tony Dore) a 5th Dan in Karate, he was also a British, European champion at 16 and World kick boxing champion, beating the world champion when he was 17. In the martial arts world Lance is a legend, in boxing he was considered one of the best British prospects never to win a world title, which he put down to fight politics in the game.
Lance Williams was forced to quit boxing in 1982 when the Boxing Board of Control refused to renew his license after failing their routine eye scan. As Lance Williams in his first professional stint, he outpointed former lightweight world champion Ken Buchanan among other noted victories and became the first British fighter to be accepted into the Kronk Gym in Detroit USA by the late Emanuel Steward. He was good friends with Thomas Hearns and once boxed the ears off Jimmy Paul in a sparring session at a state prison in America in the outdoor courtyard, Paul went on to become lightweight world champion. (Thomas Hears refereed the prison spar)
Six years after ending his Lance Williams career, in which time he had become a teacher, earned a degree and a PHD and then because of his love of boxing and his determination to prove a point he applied for his professional boxing license under a different name and as he had suspected passed the eye test with flying colours.
In 1988, Lance returned to the ring as Tony Dore and based himself in Scotland, but it wasn’t long before he was found out , and after a year as Dore and 14 fights he was found out when his former manager Mickey Duff recognised him at a fight in Wembley.
The story of Lance Williams is a fascinating one, in and out of children’s homes as a youth, he never had the best start in life, but to go on to achieve what he did in combat sports and in his personal life has been amazing. Lance has a autobiography coming out soon and so I took this opportunity to interview him and he offered to speak for the first time on camera about the ‘Tony Dore Scandal’ (As the News of the World called it at the time) and the truth behind his double boxing life, plus his time and the experiences arriving, training and sparring the Kronk gym as a British fighter.
Lance also pays a telling tribute to his boxing mentor Brian Hughes.
To hear the full story behind this and much more on Lance’s life please watch the video above.
More Information on Lance Lewis (Williams/Tony Dore) This is a forward from Lances AutoBiography which will be released soon!
Lance’s early start in Life and Education was difficult. As a young child in and out of care, went to special school then transferred into Year 6 at a Catholic Primary School. He had issues with language and dyslexia, Lance left High School in 1976 with no formal qualifications. He then went on to get his ‘O’ and ‘A’ Levels at Abraham Moss Further Education College.( after 3 years of junior Catholic priest hood training a short time working in Columbia, South America, convinced him not to enter the seminary for full training)
In 1987 Lance Lewis graduated from Manchester University with a B.ed Ordinary and a B ed honours degree in Teaching Physical Education and Design Technology. He then went on to work in inner city Manchester high schools as a P.E. and Design technology teacher. In 1990, he became a specialist teacher working with primary and high school pupils in an emotional and challenging behaviour school. He became Head of PE, before eventually becoming an assistant head Teacher. He would then go on to become a school inspector in 1999 and in 2004 a school improvement officer.
Lances academic career led to him, conducting research in New York City and spending time working with African American and Hispanic youths experience difficulties in education and at risk of gang involvement. It was from this work he developed a number of successful approaches for working with similar youths of African descent in primary and High schools in England. In 1995, His work directly led to a school in Manchester becoming the first high school in the country to put African/Black centred history on the curriculum for all pupils.
Lances work, for which he was awarded a PhD in 2002, from Manchester Metropolitan University, has informed the thinking behind and been incorporated into displays of museums on a national and international basis. Additionally has been used by the curriculum coordinating authority, the department of education and the Association of science education which made a request for Dr Lewis to culturally infuse the national science strategy 2002. Aspects of his work were also used by the British Nutrition Foundation. 2003 saw his work nominated for the BMW group awards for inter-cultural learning in Germany. Additionally Lance has contributed to various journal articles. From 1993 to 2010 Lance was a visiting lecturer for the Multicultural education department at the Manchester Metropolitan University.
2005– 2007, Lance was seconded from the Kirklees learning service to Greater Manchester Police force for 1 day a term to work with the highest ranked officers of the Respect Board around the area of Social and Cultural Inclusion.
Amongst all this, Lance Lewis is also a renowned Martial Artist, a 5th Dan Black Belt, and became legend in this field when as a child protégée he gained a victory over the existing adult world champion. His successes in this arena include British, European, and world, kick-boxing champion. Five times national freestyle Karate champion and twice grand champion. He is a former world-ranked professional boxer. He was the first non USA national to gain membership into the renowned Kronk boxing team in Detroit, U.S. Many in the martial arts paternity regard Lance Lewis as pound for pound the greatest ever kick boxer to come out of the UK. .Lance has also practised the internal martial arts (Tai Chi and Chi Gung) since the age of 17.
Lance is proud of his African and Black Native American AKA Maroon identity.
In acknowledgement of Lance, s achievements, despite the barriers he faced, He is now one of the characters to feature in a school book that was launched in the House of Lords in 2007. This very child friendly school book is about Black pioneers, ancient and modern, called “Did you know”.
In honour of what Lance has achieved in his life, the Nigerian Royal family of Ekiti State, Nigeria, awarded him a chieftaincy in 2008.
For the past 5 years Lance has had writers block when it came to writing his autobiography(in fact, there have people been on his case( especialy in America) to write it since 1983, however that block was removed when he started hanging out, then volunteering at Graham Hudson’s Art class, in the Mustard tree, homeless unit. Graham and other class members inspired, re reminded, set targets, helped with the design of the cover of the book and kicked Lances butt to get his autobiography written and completed.