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Brit Boxing Judge Admits Mistake

March 16, 1999

LONDON (AP) _ The British judge who scored the Lennox Lewis-Evander Holyfield bout a draw admits he blew it.

``I’m sorry I made a mistake,″ Larry O’Connell said in today’s The Sun newspaper.

The 60-year-old judge said he was surprised when he learned how he had voted in the heavyweight title bout in New York on Saturday night.

O’Connell said he thought Lewis had beaten Holyfield. But he didn’t know he had scored the fight 115-115 because he handed in his scores after each round.

``I honestly thought Lennox had nicked it _ I thought he’d won it with his left jab alone,″ he said. ``When someone said my scorecard added up to a draw my heart sank. I was as surprised as anyone.″

O’Connell was one of three judges. Eugenia Williams of New Jersey scored the fight 115-113 for Holyfield. Stanley Christodoulou of South Africa had it 116-113 for Lewis.

Williams insisted she had no bias toward Holyfield.

``People are entitled to their own opinion,″ she said. ``I called what I saw. I have no problems with that.″

New York State has begun three investigations into the widely disputed decision.

O’Connell told the Evening Standard: ``Judged on the weight of opinion I would say I was wrong.″

``But I did what I thought was right at the time,″ he added. ``I can’t be more honest than that.″

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