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Monday, March 15, 1999 Published at 10:17 GMT

Doubt over judge's appointment

The end of the fight - the start of the controversy

Owen Williams: "This story will not go away"
The Secretary of the British Boxing Board, John Morris, has voiced his concern over the IBF's appointment of the judge who scored the fight between Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis in favour of the American.

Eugene Williams scored the fight 115-113 to Holyfield, a verdict which virtually no-one agreed with.

Lewis vs Holyfield
Speaking on BBC Radio 4, Morris said: "I'll be asking very serious questions about how the IBF judge appointed to the fight happening to score the fifth to Holyfield when it was perfectly clear to everybody in the world that it was Lennox Lewis' round and could even have been a 10-8 round."

John Morris: "Larry is a very good judge"
"I don't know the lady, I don't know what her international experience is and I understand that she wasn't on the original list of officials until last week.

"I would have opposed that - not to the lady's discredit but simply on experience."

[ image: Larry O'Connell: Scored the fight an even draw]
Larry O'Connell: Scored the fight an even draw
Morris, one of the leading figures in the British boxing scene, and a respected figure around the world because of the improvements he has implemented regarding ringside safety, added his voice to those that believe Lewis was denied his rightful glory.

"At the end of the day there is no doubt that Britain has an undisputed world champion for the first time in modern boxing." he said.

John Morris: "The rematch should be in Britain"
"The sadness is he has to be the people's champion - 21,000 saw him at Madison Square Garden and millions around the world know who the undisputed world heavyweight champion is."

Larry O'Connell: "I feel I judged well"
But he refused to criticise Larry O'Connell, the British judge who scored the fight a draw and who had Lewis behind as he entered the final round.

"Larry is one of the most experienced. Anybody who slurs Larry's integrity in any way will have me to answer to. Larry would have called the fight as he saw it. He and I just happened to be watching different fights."

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