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Evander Holyfield Robbed Blind in Switzerland Disgrace
By Cliff Rold
Nearly a decade ago, Evander Holyfield benefited from a disgraceful draw in his first unification bout with Lennox Lewis universally hailed as one of the worst decisions of the 1990s. A little more than a decade ago, a 48-year old George Foreman was jobbed out of the lineal World Heavyweight championship versus Shannon Briggs in a way which suggested Foreman was no longer wanted on the big stage. Empathy with both Lewis and Foreman should come easy to Holyfield after what occurred at the Hallenstadion in Zurich, Switzerland on Saturday night.
In what may go down as one of the worst decisions ever rendered in a Heavyweight title fight, the 46-year old former Olympian, four-time titlist, and two-time lineal World Heavyweight king Holyfield (42-10-2, 27 KO) of Atlanta, Georgia, 214 ½ lbs., landed the cleaner blows and controlled the tempo for most of twelve rounds only to be denied an earned fifth title by judging which could be seen by some as incompetence so epic it validates the decision of so many former fans to stay away from the Sweet Science. It was by no means a great fight; in fact, it was at times downright dull.
None of that changes what happened in the ring.
At 70, 310 ¾ lbs., the 35-year old Russian Valuev (50-1, 34 KO) retains his WBA belt and path to a rematch with 30-year old former titlist Ruslan Chagaev (24-0, 17 KO). Chagaev returns from the Achilles injury which cost him his belt in early February and this bout should increase the odds of another Chagaev victory when he ultimately meets Valuev again. Chagaev provided Valuev his only official defeat in April 2007 utilizing much the same strategy Holyfield employed.