Lennox Lewis vs. Evander Holyfield (1st meeting)

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Lennoxx Lewis throws a right at Evander Holyfield

1999-03-13 : Lennox Lewis 245 lbs drew with Evander Holyfield 215 lbs by SD in round 12 of 12


  • Holyfield claimed he was "anointed to win." He said, "I have confidence in the word of God. I'm not predicting, I'm telling you: I will knock him out in the third round."
  • Holyfield made $20 million, and Lewis got $10 million
  • There was a sellout crowd 21,284 at Madison Square Garden, which produced a gate of over $11 million.
  • The fight generated 1.2 million pay-per-view buys.
  • The decision was loudly booed.
  • Lewis landed 348 of 613 punches (57 percent), and Holyfield connected on 130 of 385 (34 percent).
  • The Sunday Mirror, in a front-page headline on March 21, 1999, suggested judge Eugenia Williams had received thousands of dollars to score in favor of Holyfield. She filed a libel suit, and a British trial court awarded her "substantial damages" from the Mirror Group Newspapers. The exact sum was not disclosed. The newspaper group also apologized to Williams and was ordered to pay her court costs.


  • Seth Abraham, president of HBO Sports: "It's disappointing. It was such a wonderful promotion and to end like this. . . ."
  • Emanuel Steward, Lewis' trainer: "This is what is killing boxing."
  • Frank Bruno, former WBC champion: "The judges verdict was the most disgusting decision I've ever seen in boxing."
  • Steve Farhood, Showtime boxing analyst: "I've been covering boxing twenty years. I would put this in the top five for the worst decisions I've seen."
  • New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani: "A travesty."
  • British judge Larry O'Connell, who scored the fight 115-115: "I feel sorry for myself. I've taken so much stick. But I feel even more sorry for Lennox."

External Links

Preceded by:
Lewis vs. Mavrovi?
WBC Heavyweight Title Fight
# 80
Succeeded by:
Lewis vs. Holyfield II
Preceded by:
Holyfield vs. Bean
WBA Heavyweight Title Fight
# 71
Succeeded by:
Lewis vs. Holyfield II
Preceded by:
Holyfield vs. Bean
IBF Heavyweight Title Fight
# 32
Succeeded by:
Lewis vs. Holyfield II