On November 13, 1999, in a unification contest billed as ‘Unfinished Business’, WBC heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis faced WBA and IBF champion Evander Holyfield at theThomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas. The pair had met at Madison Square Garden, New York the previous March when, despite Lewis appearing to dominate, the result was a draw, which HBO commentator Jim Lampley described as a ‘travesty’.
Boasting a 2½” height advantage, 6½” reach advantage and 25lb weight advantage, Lewis started positively, utilising his jab to keep Holyfield at bay and smothering him when he attempted to move in close. In round three, a flush right hook gave Holyfield cause for encouragement and, in round five, Lewis sustained a cut over his right eye caused, he claimed, by a headbutt. Holyfield enjoyed more major success in the seventh round, which he dominated against his tiring opponent.
For the next four rounds, while Holyfield landed some sharp, eye-catching punches, Lewis refused to yield and continued to trade blows in the middle of the ring. Heading into the final round, Holyfield needed a knockout to win but, while he was arguably the busier of the pair, he could not find a telling blow. The result of a scitillating, skilful contest went, once again, to the judges. Thankfully, there was to be no further controversy, with Lewis declared the winner by unanimous decision, 115-113, 116-112,117-111.