American media unimpressed with Lewis

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The Independent Online

Lennox Lewis may be heavyweight champion of the world - but Evander Holyfield could easily have been crowned king according to America's newspapers.

Lennox Lewis may be heavyweight champion of the world - but Evander Holyfield could easily have been crowned king according to America's newspapers.

The American scribes who covered Saturday's showdown in Las Vegas have not hailed the manner of the Briton's triumph. Indeed, several writers have reacted with disbelief that there was a unanimous decision.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution

"There was enough Holyfield throughout this close fight to give him the undisputed heavyweight championship.

"Still, the latest of boxing's Three Blind Mice among judges said Lewis won by a landslide."

The paper, in the heart of the 'Bible Belt', quoted Holyfield as saying "God grants victories and man grants decisions".

It marvelled at Holyfield being "fresh, so vibrant, so unlike Lewis, who wore dark sunglasses during his post-fight Press conference to hide the scratches and bruises that Holyfield lacked".

Boston Globe

"They gave Lewis the final round, one in which he spent three minutes retreating. That round was scored as badly as the controversial fifth round of the first fight that launched a thousand investigations after (IBF judge) Eugenia Williams somehow decided Holyfield had won a round Lewis so clearly had dominated you could have judged it with your ears."

New York Post

"Lewis deserved the decision over Holyfield in March but came away with only a draw, a disgraceful result. Holyfield deserved the decision over Lewis Saturday night."

Chicago Tribune

"No matter how many title belts he holds, Lewis is more likely to induce sleep in spectators than opponents with his fighting style. His trainer, Emanuel Steward, says he can't see any heavyweight lasting more than six rounds against Lewis.

"But Holyfield, who should at least contemplate retirement as a 37-year-old multi-millionaire, has just lasted 24 rounds and come as close to flooring Lewis as being floored by him."

Washington Post

"What was dissatisfying about the fight was Lewis' passivity against an older and smaller opponent. Nor did Lewis take the fight to Holyfield as he had promised.

"Punch statistics, however, favoured Lewis significantly. He was credited with landing 119 of 259 power punches, Holyfield 85 of 254. Lewis connected on 76 of 231 jabs, Holyfield 52 of 162.

"But the numbers suggest something less than a definitive way of judging a bout. If Lewis truly had landed 119 power punches it would have been unlikely that Holyfield could have finished the fight."

Philadelphia Inquirer

"The undisputed heavyweight champion of the world is now Lennox Lewis. He is not a fighter for all time, nor even for his own time. But perhaps, like some presidents, he will grow into the role. And perhaps, like some other presidents, he will not.

"Although the same decision was reached by all three judges, the verdict was far from unanimous among ringsiders. You could find almost as many people who thought Holyfield had won."

Los Angeles Times

At least this paper saluted Lewis.

"In what was nearly a replay of their first meeting, the only difference being more competent judging, Lennox Lewis won a tough, gritty unanimous decision over Evander Holyfield."