Legendary boxing promoter, film and music producer Ronald “Butch” Lewis passed away after suffering a massive heart attack at his home in Delaware early Saturday morning. He was 65.
Lewis will most likely be most remembered for his work with boxing legends like Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier and Leon and Michael Spinks. It was Lewis who negotiated Michael Spinks' $13.5 million purse for his 1988 fight against Mike Tyson. That bout ended with a first round knock-out of Spinks.
While well known in the sport of boxing, Lewis also had a career in the entertainment and music fields.
Lewis broke into the entertainment world in 1991, producing cable and feature films through his Butch Lewis Productions (BLP).
After James Brown was released from prison in 1991 after serving a three-year sentence for carrying an unlicensed pistol and assaulting a police officer, Lewis produced a pay-per-view special on James Brown called “James Brown: Living in America.” Lewis also who threw the welcome-back party for Brown after he was released from prison.
Lewis had recently partnered BLP with friend BET founder Bob Johnson's IMG Worldwide Inc. to operate a talent-management company to primarily represent minority entertainers in the areas of endorsements, licensing and programming. He had also formed a joint venture called Voicez Music Group with DefJam/Universal Records in 2008. Lewis also produced several television shows, including BET's Oh Drama.
Friends and fans took to twitter Saturday to offer their condolences:
"R.I.P Butch Lewis May GOD BLESS his Sole. We going to miss him. Great guy!!!" tweeted boxer Zab Judah, who will face off against Amir Khan Saturday evening in Las Vegas for a title bout.
"#RIP Butch Lewis. I met him many times and he was always so generous to me offering fight tickets and support in my career. God Bless," wrote Hill Harper.
Lewis celebrated his 65th birthday at a party last month.