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Sunday, March 14, 1999 Published at 12:59 GMT

Lewis v Holyfield - what they said

Holyfield v Lewis

Many thought that Lennox Lewis was "robbed" of the world heavyweight crown but others were happy with the decision. Here's what the major players said.

[ image: Frank Maloney]
Frank Maloney
Lewis' promoter Frank Maloney said he was "disgusted" with the result and was angry that his fighter will have to box again for the title.

"My reaction is shock and total disbelief. If I was Tony Blair I'd cut off all diplomatic relations with America.

"It's an absolute con, a tragedy and an injustice for boxing. This result has set boxing back into the dark ages."

Frank Maloney: "Lets get a rematch straight on"
Lennox Lewis felt that he had been cheated by the judges and in his dressing-room expressed his disbelief at the decision.

"I lost two rounds, that's all I felt. I believe there should be an automatic rematch but I doubt if he will want to fight me again.

Lewis vs Holyfield
"Like I said in the beginning, you'll see nothing like Lennox Lewis. He looked like an old man in there, he was missing a lot of punches, he was hurt a couple of times. I don't even know what the judges were looking at.

"I'm happy because the whole world's seen it for themselves. I know they wouldn't let me go with all three belts without some sort of funny business."

[ image: Don King]
Don King
Evander Holyfield skirted around the issue of the decision and said he still felt like a champion.

"I can't be the judge and fight at the same time. It's real simple: people around the ring are not the judges."

Promoter Don King asked everyone to respect the judges' decisions but then indicated a rematch was on the cards.

"Who am I to be second guessing the judges," said King.

"The judges were appointed by all the world's bodies and the New York State Athletic Commission. They rendered the decision; they did the best they could.

[ image: Eugenia Williams]
Eugenia Williams
"But what do you do when you have a dispute? You resolve it, so let's do it again."

Judge Eugenia Williams, who scored the fight in Holyfield's favour, said she saw Lewis land fewer punches than the champion - something disputed by the official statistics from the fight.

"I scored by the blows that connected. I don't have the privilege of the boxing stats."

Lewis' trainer Emmanual Steward, said afterwards he was ashamed at the sport in which he has long made his living.

[ image: Emmanual Steward]
Emmanual Steward
"It was a terrible decision. All these times we try to move boxing forward and make a great fight, this kind of crap comes on.

"Evander only won three rounds or four at the most, but nevertheless it's called a draw. This is what's killing boxing."

Despite the accusations and differing opinions about the fight, only one option now looks likely and that is a re-match within the next eight months.

Other reaction

  • Judge Standley Christodoulou: "I was of the opinion that Lennox Lewis won the fight."

  • Henry Cooper: "Lennox boxed Holyfield's ears off."

  • Prince Naseem Hamed's promoter Barry Hearn: "If we accept this result, we must all be mugs."

  • BBC Boxing Correspondent John Rawling: "There is a sense of injustice in New York."

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Evander Holyfield Official Site

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