After hearing Ron Lewis’s untimely death at 54, the sports and journalism communities came to pay tribute to the respected boxing writer.
During his two decades in UK national media, Lewis mostly worked for the Times. He became famous for his vast connections book, extensive understanding of the fight game, and kind personality. An overwhelming outpouring of grief was shown for Big Ron after his sudden cardiac arrest death on Friday.
He was a regular contributor to the Irish Examiner and contributed substantially to our coverage of the fight game worldwide.
Among those who expressed their sorrow at Lewis’s passing was former WBO world champion Liam Smith, who described him as a “decent gentleman” and said he was “totally crushed.”
“Ron was a boxing man through and through, and he will be missed – our thoughts and deepest sympathies go to his wife and two young children for their tragic loss,” said fight organizer Frank Warren and former Olympic super-heavyweight champion Audley Harrison. Eddie Hearn, another promoter, also paid tribute, calling Lewis “a very charming man who will be profoundly missed.”
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Beginning his journalism career in the late ’90s, Lewis first interned at the Hounslow Chronicle before moving on to weekend subediting stints at the Guardian and the Daily Mail. That’s how he started writing about sports for the Times, where he stayed for 17 years and covered three Olympic Games, two World Athletics Championships, and countless major fights in Las Vegas.
Because of his adaptability, he was also assigned to cover Premier League games, Royal Ascot, and Wimbledon. His friendly nature and willingness to help coworkers whenever they needed a ride, a contact or some advice helped him form friendships in the business that have lasted even after he went freelance in 2019.
I am sorry to announce the death of my husband Ron. He passed away this morning at the age of 54. It was a complete shock. It’s wonderful reading all your messages and memories of him as his phone keep pinging. Thank you everyone who was a part of his life. pic.twitter.com/H2aJuZMO04
— Ron Lewis (@RonLewis_) February 10, 2023
The Times’ senior sports writer, Matt Dickinson, wrote: “So very sorry to hear the news. Been reflecting all evening on many memories – breakfast in Vegas, swimming and even salsa dancing in Rio, mostly bemoaning QPR. Thoughts with Ron and all his family.”
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Lewis’s wife, Ellie, tweeted the news, writing, “It was a huge shock. As his phone buzzes, it’s fantastic to see your comments and thoughts about him. To everybody who shared in his journey, he is grateful. Lewis was also a talented swimmer and enjoyed attending horse racing courses wherever he was transferred, according to the responses from dozens of other journalists.
Sky reporter Martha Kelner said, “Ron was such a sweet, gentle man. He loved his children and felt immense pride for them. I’ll never forget how proud he was to brag about them in front of us and show us images of them. I hope you find the strength you need.
Andy Stephens, another ex-colleague at the Times, commented, “This is the most horrible news – I’m very sorry for your loss. I had the pleasure of working with Ron at The Times for several years; he was a brilliant journalist and, more importantly, a very exceptional person. We both had a passion for equines. I pray the numerous condolences are a source of solace for you.