Originally created 04/17/99

Holyfield: It's the quality, not number, of punches



NEW YORK -- Evander Holyfield says Lennox Lewis landing a lot more punches than he did was deceiving.

A punch tally of the fight for the undisputed heavyweight title bout March 13 that ended in a controversial draw credited Lewis with landing 364 of 613 punches to 130 of 385 for Holyfield.

A rematch is expected Nov. 6 or 13 at site to be determined.

"In pro boxing, it's not how many punches you throw, it's effective punches, punches that hurt," Holyfield said at a hearing before the New York State Senate Committee on Investigations, chaired by State Sen. Roy Goodman.

Holyfield called many of the punches Lewis landed "taps."

Lewis said in a taped interview with Goodman that the punch statistics were proof of his victory.

"I was the most aggressive fighter," Holyfield said. "Once the fight got to the eighth round you could see I was doing all the work. All the judges started giving me all the rounds. I was trying to make a fight and here's a guy who don't want to fight."

Judge Eugenia Williams of Atlantic City, N.J., who scored it 115-113 for Holyfield, gave Holyfield four of the last five rounds. Stanley Christodoulou (116-113 Lewis) of South Africa called the last five rounds 3-1-1 for Holyfield. Larry O'Connell (115-115) of England also thought Holyfield won four of the last five rounds.

"Definitely, the scoring was very bad," Lewis said.

Williams was highly criticized for scoring the fifth round for Holyfield, when it was that round in which Lewis seemed to have him in serious trouble.

"She is clueless in knowing what her job is and what she should be scoring," Lewis said.

As for the scoring of O'Connell, Lewis, of Britain, said: "I was quite amazed. It definitely showed me he wasn't watching my jab. My jab was doing the most damage. I think he overcompensated not to show favoritism."

On Thursday, Goodman said his committee had turned over to a Manhattan grand jury evidence of potential criminality in the judging of the fight.

Williams admitted before the committee March 18 that she had recently filed for bankruptcy.

He questioned whether judges with financial problems "could not be subject to temptation.

Goodman previously said testimony indicated O'Connell was behind in his mortgage payments. However, on Friday he said that report was wrong.

"Mr. O'Connell called us from England yesterday and assured us this was not the case," Goodman said. "I want this on the record."