Sunday, March 14, 1999 Published at 05:48 GMT
Shock draw in Lewis-Holyfield fight
Lewis was disgusted with outcome
Lennox Lewis said he was "robbed" as his fight with Evander Holyfield for the undisputed heavyweight championship of the world ended in a highly controversial draw at New York's Madison Square Garden.
It is likely to be held at the Yankee Stadium, also in New York.
A disgusted Lewis stormed out of the ring without commenting as the American judge scored for Holyfield 115-113, the neutral South African scored for Lewis 116-113 and the British judge Larry O'Connell called a draw at 115-115.
Manager Frank Maloney described it as "the biggest liberty in the history of boxing".
"It is down to the influence of crooked people in this sport. If I were Lennox, then after this disgrace I would retire," he said.
Holyfield's body language at the final bell suggested he felt beaten, as his opponent threw his arms in the air and jumped up and down.
Speaking from the ring, the American champion said he would welcome a rematch and refused to be drawn on the result, saying: "I'm not the judges."
Lewis appeared to create a solid lead in the first nine rounds and even rallied for the twelfth after appearing to fade rapidly in the tenth and eleventh.
To chants of "Lewis, Lewis", the British hope's best spells came in the second and fifth rounds when he seriously rattled the American champion with a devastating series of jabs.
Lewis picked up
But Holyfield - widely regarded as one of the best fighters of all time - recovered time and again to trouble Lewis and occasionally make him look tired.
And in two bizarre incidents, the American appeared first to lift Lewis up in round one and secondly to drag him crashing to the canvas in round seven.
Somewhat prematurely described as "the last great fight of the millennium", the $19m bout sought to unify the three versions of the heavyweight title - last held simultaneously by American Riddick Bowe in 1992.
There has not been an undisputed British heavyweight champion of the world this century.
Following a 10-count tribute to the recently-deceased baseball great Joe DiMaggio, both boxers came out to the ecstatic cheers of a capacity 20,000 audience - an estimated 7,000 of whom were British.
Holyfield, a devout Christian, emerged singing gospel songs at the top of his voice.
Lewis, 33, weighed in at an awesome 245lbs on a 6'5" frame, compared to the smaller, lighter, 36-year-old Holyfield, two-and-a-half inches shorter and tipping the scales at 215lbs.
Was Lennox Lewis robbed? Tell us what you think.