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Wednesday, March 17, 1999 Published at 12:38 GMT

Holyfield not 100% says fighter's attorney

Evander Holyfield: Illness may have hampered his performance

Evander Holyfield's attorney says the heavyweight boxing champion was suffering from a stomach ache before his controversial unification fight with Lennox Lewis.

Lewis vs Holyfield
Jim Thomas says the fighter complained of the problem during a training session before the bout and admitted that his "legs were sticking" in the locker room before Saturday night's bout in Madison Square Garden.

"There was something bothering him, and it probably affected his performance. I'm not saying he would've won.

"Who knows? But there was a problem. Everybody says, `Well, that could be old age.' The answer is, I don't know. I can't dismiss that possibility. But clearly Evander wasn't at his best, and I want to know why."

Thomas added that the fighter had not worried about the problem because he didn't expect a long fight.

Lewis' manager Frank Maloney still thinks the rematch should be in England
The Holyfield camp admitted to the press that the fighter had been suffering from a virus just three weeks before the fight. Thomas is now not sure that his client had made a full recovery.

Holyfield has yet to admit to the press that he thought he lost the fight, although Thomas hinted that the fighter was not in the mood to concede superiority to Lewis

"He really had no comment on the fight, other than to note that he was never hurt and never in trouble."

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