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Revisiting Lennox Lewis vs. Evander Holyfield I and the Controversial Decision

Lennox Lewis vs. Evander Holyfield I Ends in Controversy

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Revisiting Lennox Lewis vs. Evander Holyfield I and the Controversial Decision


Revisiting Lennox Lewis vs. Evander Holyfield I and the Controversial Decision

On March 13, 1999, Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield fought for the IBF, WBA and WBC belts in Las Vegas. The British fighter produced a dominant performance that was overshadowed by the controversial judges scorecards.

Lennox Lewis vs. Evander Holyfield I

Impressive Lewis Performance

Lewis produced a great performance where he outfought and outboxed Holyfield. “The Lion” started strong and got his jab going, ensuring he controlled the distance. “The Real Deal” found some joy in round three with left hooks and combinations before Lewis reestablished his dominance in the fifth – landing some eye-catching uppercuts.

Read More: 5 Most Memorable Lennox Lewis Fights

Around the middle rounds, the Brit put more snap in his jabs, which troubled his American opponent. The effectiveness of his jab was apparent as Holyfield’s eye began to swell later in the fight. “The Lion” had done the smarter work at a distance and up close throughout the 12 rounds. Holyfield had his moments, particularly with the left hook, but they were too few and far between. Lewis raised his arm triumphantly towards the end of the final round, but there was one last surprise in store. 

Lennox Lewis vs. Evander Holyfield: Scorecard Controversy

The judges scorecards read 116-113 for Lewis, 115-115, and astonishingly, the last scorecard read 115-113 for Holyfield. Anyone who watched the fight will likely tell you Lewis had done more than enough throughout the contest. His accuracy was impressive, whether the outside or inside, and he was simply outworking his opponent. The British fighter was understandably furious after the fight: ”I got robbed,” Lewis said. ”I controlled the whole fight.” Lewis trainer  Emanuel Steward said: “This is what is killing boxing.”

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Exactly eight months later, Lewis got his revenge, beating a more effective Holyfield by unanimous decision. This bout was also the last time two men fought for the undisputed heavyweight championship of the world, with Oleksandr Usyk and Tyson Fury set to do this on May 18, 2024. Lewis later defeated Mike Tyson and Vitali Klitschko and avenged a shock defeat to Hasim Rahman.

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Freelance Writer and Digital Marketer, spending most of his time waiting for the Tyson Fury vs Usyk announcement. Also watches YouTube videos of Lennox Lewis fights on a daily basis.

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