Lennox Lewis was mugged by three assailants -- Larry O'Connell,
Stanley Christoudoulou and Eugenia Williams -- inside Madison Square
Garden, the world's Mecca of boxing, late Saturday night.
That's right, mugged. Jobbed. Robbed. Hundreds of thousands, world
wide, witnessed the crime and still O'Connell, Christoudoulou and
Williams were set free on their own recognizance.
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And their crime will continue unless an immediate call for open
scoring in boxing is implemented or some of the corrupt organizations
institute a seeing-eye dog program. In addition, the boxing judges
should be all forced to take lie-detector tests about their individual
credibility; background checks as to their criminal past and be forced
to submit to media questions following each verdict they make.
Then, maybe, just maybe, they could answer Lewis' question: "Why was
What fight did these judges see? Certainly not the one between
Holyfield and Lennox Lewis, in which Lewis was overwhelming and
Holyfield looked like an old man.
Last Monday in this space, your obedient servant went against the
grain and sided with Lewis in 12, never believing that a draw was among
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People will try to justify such con artists as Don King, the one with
the electric hair, by saying: "Oh, that's boxing!" Well, such rationale
is passe in this day and age.
Organizations such as the IBF, WBC and WBA have as much integrity and
believability as S.L. Goldman, and are becoming as sick as the
Of course, the days of the crime families controlling a boxer's fate
seemingly are over, but the judges apparently are being bought for the
Saturday night gave us the worst decision I have ever seen in my
years of covering sporting events. It reminded those of us veterans in
the toy department, that it's now on a par with wrestling bosses and
flunkies, who decide grunt 'n groan matches and then promote the
Isn't that what it's all about?
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Promoter King chuckled after the draw, dreaming of a larger gate,
perhaps, a rematch soon in New York's larger venue, Yankee Stadium.
Madison Square Garden seats 21,284 while the House That Ruth Built
could jam in about 80,000. Then months of hype would also be a financial
bonanza from the PPV (Pay for View) customers around the globe. Just
imagine the amount of PPV loot in Yankee Stadium, for it was $50 a pop
watching it from MSG.
Despite the draw, Lewis showed his skills, particularly, a multiple
of stinging jabs and smashing rights and, undoubtedly, the three judges
never considered the punch count that favored Lewis 3-1.
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Judge (a loose term) Eugenia Williams from New Jersey and the IBF
scored it 115-113 for Holyfield; Christoudoulou of South Africa and the
WBA payroll had it 116-113 for Lewis and Larry O'Connell of England out
of the WBC made it 115-115.
The WorldNetDaily scorecard of the unification contest had Lewis far
ahead at 10 rounds to 2.
Lewis was shocked, trembling with anger, and muttering to anyone and
everyone: "I was robbed. Ripped off."
It was his night to shine, but instead three judges, whom only their
families know, ruined his day in the sun.
The New York Post said: "Unbelievably, if Lewis had not won the last
round on all three official cards, he would have been a loser.
O'Connell, the judge who scored the Feb. 13 welterweight bout for Ike
Quartey against Oscar de la Hoya, had Holyfield ahead after 11 rounds."
"This is what is killing boxing," said trainer Emanuel Steward from
the Lewis camp.
Then Holyfield, the supposed Holy Warrior, who has illegitimately
fathered so many children that he may have lost count, spouted: "I feel
like a champion."
Well, Evander, if I were you, I'd stand up for justice and denounce
the judges and the decision and start giving Lewis the credit he
deserves and hand him your IBF title belt. It's the right and Christian
thing to do.
But he won't.
He also should recant and admit telling an outright lie about
knocking out Lewis in three round, as foretold by God, or so he says.
Far too many professional athletes are spouting off about their
connection with the Almighty. Listen up, Evander (and throw in a few
Deion Sanders, as well): YOU DON'T HAVE GOD IN YOUR HIP POCKET!
He can't be bought.
And one other thing, if greed isn't your motive, Holyfield, why are
you hanging around such lowlifes as your promoter and "owner" Don King?
So you say you feel like the champ; however, you obviously didn't look
Holyfield (215 pounds) landed 130 of 385 punches to Lewis (at 246)
with 348 of 613. In the fifth, Lewis outlanded Holyfield by 43-11 -- and
Williams scored it for Holyfield.
Of course, Lewis had to settle for a raw deal while King didn't
settle for a draw as he pocketed at least $12 million.
He was seen leaving MSG ... laughing. Like some dark and lurking
figure from the netherworld.
Following is the Associated Press' round-by-round report:
Heavyweight title unification bout between WBA and IBF champion
Holyfield and WBC champion Lennox Lewis:
Round 1: A sellout crowd of 21,284, paying more than $11 million, was
packed into Madison Square Garden for the match. It was the first
sellout for a heavyweight fight in the current Garden since Joe Frazier
outpointed Muhammad Ali in "The Fight" on March 8, 1971.
Some 7,000 Lewis supporters from Britain showed up and made their
presence felt long before Holyfield and Lewis entered the ring.
There were many Jamaican flags in evidence as Lewis entered the ring.
WBC champion was born in England of Jamaican parents.
Lewis wore red trunks with gold trim and no robe.
Holyfield came into the ring a few minutes later to the sounds of
gospel music. He sang along. He wore a purple and white robe with PHIL:
4-13 ("I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.") on the
back. He wore trunks that were purple with red trim.
Lewis threw a left hook that barely missed. Lewis got in a jab and
they clinched. Holyfield's first punch was a sweeping hook that was
short. Not much landed in the first 30 seconds. They were trying to
figure each other out. Neither was throwing much as the first minute
passed. Lewis missed with a right. There was a lot of feinting, little
punching. Lewis got in two stiff jabs, then another. Then they went back
to posing. Holyfield missed an overhead right at 2 minutes. Lewis landed
a right to the head, then two good jabs. Holyfield landed a left hook to
the jaw at 2:43, Lewis countered with a jab. Holyfield picked up Lewis
and threw him down right at the bell. Referee Arthur Mercante Jr.
brought them together and talked to them after the bell rang. The AP
gives the round to Lewis.
Round 2: Lewis opened the second round with three or four jabs as
Holyfield circled away. Lewis landed a hard right, then another and
trapped Holyfield on the ropes with 30 seconds left. Lewis got in
another jab. The action slowed again near the minute mark. There wasn't
a punch landed for almost a minute when Lewis got in a left jab. Lewis
landed another jab and missed with a right. Lewis got in a short right
with 40 seconds left. Lewis landed a right uppercut and the crowd
roared. Holyfield was doing little. Lewis' round.
Round 3: This was the round in which Holyfield said he would score a
knockout. According to a punch count, Holyfield landed eight punches the
first two rounds.
The crowd roared as the round started. Lewis landed a jab and a
right, then another right. They tied up and Mercante warned Lewis for
pushing. Lewis landed two jabs and Holyfield had trouble getting inside.
Holyfield landed a right to the head. Holyfield had two punches blocked,
then got in a right. He was trying to land a big punch. Lewis got in two
jabs after about 1:15. Holyfield landed a hard left and hard right and
pinned Lewis in the corner. Lewis landed a couple jabs. Lewis landed a
short right uppercut, then another right hand. Lewis landed a
left-right. Lewis landed a stiff jab with 50 seconds left. Holyfield
landed a jab and short hook, then a right hand and a hard right, then
another. Holyfield threw a wild right before the bell. Holyfield's
Round 4: They met in the center of the ring but did little. Lewis
threw several soft jabs. They were back to posing early in the round.
Lewis got in a couple more soft jabs as Holyfield was doing very little.
They became tangled at midround and almost fell. Lewis landed a right
and a short hook. Lewis landed two or three jabs. Holyfield landed a
good left hook and right hand at the minute mark. Another left was
blocked. Lewis went back to jabbing. Holyfield's round.
Round 5: Lewis opened the fifth with two light jabs and Holyfield
jabbed back. Lewis came back with two jabs. Lewis landed a short right
to the head, then another when Holyfield missed. Lewis landed a big
right, then another, a right to the body. Holyfield didn't punch back.
Lewis landed a right uppercut and a left, then a right and then another.
After a right to the head by Lewis, Holyfield finally managed to get off
the ropes. They moved to the center of the ring. Action slowed until
Holyfield landed two shots to the head and one to the body. Lewis shook
Holyfield with a right with 15 seconds left. Lewis landed a right to the
body. Lewis' round.
Round 6: Holyfield came out jabbing and the much taller Lewis got in
a jab to the head. Holyfield landed a hard right but missed a big hook.
Lewis blocked two punches then landed a left-right to the head. Lewis
got in a jab with a minute gone. Action slowed. Lewis got in a right
lead and a left with 1:25 gone. Lewis got in a jab at 1:45, followed by
a hard right uppercut. Action slowed again. Lewis landed a hard right
and left with 30 seconds to go, then circled away from Holyfield. Lewis
landed a right lead and Holyfield was wild with a hook. Lewis landed a
right lead, then another, and walked away from Holyfield. Lewis' round.
Round 7: At the end of six rounds, Lewis had connected on 168
punches, Holyfield 60. They wrestled each other down 20 seconds into the
round and the referee warned them. Lewis hit Holyfield on the break, but
wasn't warned. Holyfield laid on the ropes and Lewis tapped at him with
the left hand. This fight was being fought in fits and starts. Holyfield
landed a right to the body, then Lewis landed two rights to the head.
Two right hands by Lewis backed up Holyfield at 1:40. Lewis landed a
right uppercut and a right to the head, then missed a right. Another
right lead by Lewis, then another. "Lewis! Lewis!'' was the chant. Lewis
landed two jabs. Holyfield looked his 36 years of age. Lewis landed a
right to the body. Holyfield missed a right to the body. Holyfield's
left eye appeared to be closing. Lewis' round.
Round 8: Lewis landed a right to open the round. Action slowed as it
did in several previous rounds. Hardly anything happened the first
minute before Lewis got in three jabs. Holyfield was having trouble
getting close to the
6-foot-5 Lewis. Holyfield landed two rights, and Lewis landed a right as
Holyfield backed away. Lewis landed a right hook to the head, then a
short right lead. Lewis landed a right lead to the head. Holyfield
landed a right uppercut with 45 seconds left. They clinched with 20
seconds left and Mercante broke them. Lewis landed two hard right leads
and two jabs at the bell. Lewis' round.
Round 9: Lewis opened with a stiff jab, then two more jabs. The left
side of Holyfield's face was badly swollen. He was having trouble
getting inside with Lewis, who had a 6-inch reach advantage. Lewis
landed a stiff jab at the minute mark. Holyfield landed a couple jabs
and missed a big right with 1:12 left. Lewis landed two more jabs to
Holyfield's face. Lewis landed a short right to the head as Holyfield
came in with 45 seconds left. Lewis landed a stiff jab after they broke
from a clinch, then a right to Holyfield's left eye followed by two
jabs. Lewis' round.
Round 10: Lewis opened the round with a couple jabs. Holyfield landed
two rights to the head before Lewis could tie him up on the ropes. Lewis
landed a stiff jab. Holyfield landed a hard right at 1:05, came back
with a jab and Lewis tied him up. Lewis landed a right to the head 20
seconds later, then a jab. There was swelling under Lewis' left eye.
Lewis landed a hard right at 2 minutes. Then he circled away from
Holyfield. Lewis got in a right lead and a left to the body. Lewis got
in a jab with 30 seconds left, then another. Holyfield's round.
Round 11: Lewis opened with a 1-2 and was bouncing on his toes. He
landed two jabs. Holyfield was bouncing, but not punching. Holyfield's
left was blocked by Lewis, who wrapped his arms around him when
Holyfield got close. Lewis' size made a major difference. Lewis got in a
stiff jab at the minute mark, then a hard right to the head. Every time
Holyfield got close, Lewis tied him up. Action slowed at the 2-minute
mark. Holyfield got in a solid right, Lewis threw a jab. The two did a
lot of feinting and missing. Lewis landed a hard right after Holyfield
missed. Lewis got in a stiff jab. Lewis' round.
Round 12: Lewis talked with Holyfield as they touched gloves for the
final round. Lewis scored a couple jabs, then caught two rights to
Holyfield's head. Lewis got in a jab. Again, there were chants of
"Lewis! Lewis!'' Action slowed for a time. They clinched in the center
as Lewis' British fans sang at the top of their lungs. There was little
action in the ring as the fight reached the final minute. Lewis got in a
couple soft jabs to Holyfield's badly swollen face. Lewis landed a stiff
jab with 38 seconds left, then a hard right lead and another. Lewis
landed a right-left, then another right-left and a hard right buckled
Holyfield. With six seconds left, Lewis threw his arms up in triumph.
STRANGER THAN FICTION: So Dennis (The Worm) Rodman has taken off from
the NBA Lakers indefinitely for personal reasons. It seems some woman
has been stalking the NBA's top rebounder with the funny hair and
tattoos. Maybe, it's not a publicity stunt ... but then again. ...
It's truly March Madness with all the upsets, particularly, Sunday
afternoon when Utah was shocked by Miami of Ohio. Oops, they don't want
any mention of Ohio and must be called Miami University. Sorry, Miami
remains those collegians from Florida for right now.
P.S. Enough of this sainthood talk about Joe D. He was a tremendous
Yankee player; however, he remained a grouch to the fans and media most
of his life.