The Cyber Boxing Zone Newswire
|We're Mad as Hell... : CBZ Press release|
CYBERSPACE: March 22, 1999: The Cyber Boxing Zone, the Internet's leading source for boxing news, views, and history,and the only boxing site named in Sport Magazine's March feature on the Top 40 sports web sites, has announced today that, in the wake of the recent Lewis-Holyfield judging controversy, it is awarding WBC heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis the first unified CYBERSPACE VIRTUAL HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP. This award is in recognition of Lewis' dominance in the much-ballyhooed heavyweight title unification bout with Evander Holyfield held March 13, 1999 in New York's Madison Square Garden.
The bout, witnessed by millions, ended in a widely-condemned "draw" after British judge Larry O'Connell scored the fight even and Atlantic City, New Jersey judge Eugenia Williams scored the bout for reigning WBA-IBF Champion Holyfield. Among the irregularities found in the scoring was the fact that Williams awarded Holyfield a 10-9 edge in Round 5, a frame in which Lewis had Holyfield in significant trouble and which Lewis appeared to control easily. A rematch between Lewis and Holyfield was ordered within six months by all three of the contest's sanctioning bodies shortly after the fight's conclusion.
The judging of the Lewis-Holyfield contest is currently under review by no less than four separate investigative bodies, including the Office of Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau, the Office of New York State Attorney General Elliot Spitzer and the New York State Athletic Commission.
"Boxing fans have had enough of these types of questionable decisions and the big-money rematches that always seem to follow," said Cyber Boxing Zone founder Mike DeLisa. "This is the CBZ's chance to strike a blow for fairness and common sense on behalf of the average boxing fan." Equally vocal was CBZ editor Stephen "GorDoom" Gordon, who added, "this decision was enough to almost make me kiss boxing goodbye forever. If the ratings bodies can't invest the sport with the integrity it deserves, then the fans will have to do it themselves."
Among those who spoke out against the decision after the fight were referee Arthur Mercante, Jr., who worked the bout, and his father, Arthur Mercante, Sr., the renowned boxing referee who handled what many call the biggest fight in boxing history, Joe Frazier-Muhammad Ali I, at the Garden in 1971. Both had Lewis winning the contest with Holyfield by a comfortable margin.
"We hope that the sport's official regulators will do the right thing by the boxing public or that real reforms will be enacted," DeLisa explained, "but we aren't holding our breath. There have been too many outrages, and too many bad decisions that don't have the fans' interests at heart. We want to be the people's voice." DeLisa, a lawyer who has drafted several enacted statutes, added that he will renew his efforts to convince the various states to enact a "uniform law" governing boxing regulation as an alternative to federal regulation. "One aspect of the uniform law that I presented in a speech to the Association of Boxing Commissioners in 1996 was that the State Commissions appoint all judges and that promoters merely reimburse the state for costs, rather than have the promoters or organizations pay them directly," DeLisa said.
The awarding of the Virtual Championship will be formally announced on the Cyber Boxing Zone website, located on the Internet at http://www.CyberBoxingZone.com.
Http://www.CyberBoxingZone.com is a multi-faceted boxing website that offers reports on major fights from around the world, interviews, historical profiles and statistics of famous fighters of the past, and myriad other types of boxing information and opinion. Among its contributors it includes nationally-recognized radio and television broadcasters, personalities from within the global boxing scene, and widely-published boxing journalists and historians, as well as average fans from around the globe. It is the Internet's most comprehensive resource for the boxing enthusiast.
CONTACT: Stephen Gordon, The Cyber Boxing Zone
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