This Day in Georgia History
March 13, 1999
Before a soldout crowd in New York’s Madison Square Garden, Atlanta’s Evander Holyfield battled Britain’s Lennox Lewis for the unified world boxing champtionship. At age 36, Holyfield went into the match with a record of 36 wins (25 by knockout) and 3 losses. Lewis, 33, had a record of 34 wins (27 by knockout) and 1 loss. Holyfield was world heavyweight champion of the International Boxing Federation and the World Boxing Association titles, while Lewis held the World Boxing Council title. Everyone expected one fighter to emerge holding all three titles as the first unified world boxing champion since 1992. But that was not to be. Lewis threw many more punches than Holyfield and never appeared in danger of being knocked down, but in a decision booed by the crowd, one judge gave the match to Lewis, one to Holyfield, and one had it a draw. The 12-round fight ened in a controversial draw. For the fight, Holyfield won $20 million, compared to Lewis’s $10 million.