Team Sauerland will reconsider its plan to offer Evander Holyfield a rematch against WBA heavyweight champion Nikolai Valuev following remarks made by Holyfield’s trainer Tommy Brooks. The coach of the 46-year-old boxing legend, who lost a close majority decision by the scores of 116-112, 115-114 and 114-114, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “I think it was just some home cooking for a promoter’s fighter. I think somebody was just greasing somebody’s palms.”
Wilfried Sauerland was shocked when he found out about the statements. “I can understand his disappointment,” the manager said. “After all, his fighter put on a an impressive performance for which he deserves our respect. However, I cannot comprehend his remarks at all. They are derisive, outrageous and absolutely untrue. I would not have expected such unsporting behaviour from him. We offered Holyfield a rematch straight away but now we will have to reconsider it.”
Photo: Sauerland Event
Sauerland managing director Chris Meyer admitted that the bout was difficult to score. “It was a very close fight. The judges agreed on just four rounds. Also, the fight looked much different on TV than it did from inside the arena. Most of the experts at ringside had Valuev winning. It is funny to see how the European and US media disagree about the outcome.”
A string of highly-respected boxing writers – just like WBA president Gilberto Mendoza – had Valuev ahead. Among them Phil Woolever (“For the record, I had it 115-113 Valuev”), Ron Lewis of The Times and Gareth A. Davies of The Telegraph. All three of them were at ringside.
Here is what Ron Lewis wrote in his blog article titled ‘Valuev was a worthy winner’:
“Sometimes, I guess you think the world has just gone mad. After one very long night in Zurich, I returned home this morning to discover everyone up in arms that Evander Holyfield was supposedly robbed against Nikolay Valuev in their WBA heavyweight title bout on Saturday night. That was certainly not the case.
“Yes the crowd booed, but they booed Valuev before the start. They booed him after he beat Ruiz in August and that was one-sided. Ringside – where I watched the fight from – opinion was split about who had won. Everyone sitting near me had Valuev a clear winner and I had him ahead by five rounds. No one in Holyfield’s camp roared “robbery”. Sure, they said they thought they did enough to win, but that was it. Expect that to change by the time they get back from America, when they discover that the power of television has whipped up support in their favour.”
Gareth A. Davies of The Telegraph holds a similar opinion. He wrote in his blog:
“Why was it that so many who saw the fight on television thought Holyfield had won ? Because you see a different on tv – plus commentary, plus crowd support – than what is in front of you. Live coverage enhances perception, not television. That’s why we go to these events.
“From ringside, there were varying degrees in opinion, and on the judges’ cards, it came down to the final round. From my position, I thought Valuev had won the fight. Yet to call it a fix, as some websites and commentators have done, is wrong.”
The judges´ scoring can be found here (scroll down):