Did You Know There Is A Fight?

There will be no love lost when Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis step into the ring Saturday night for their long-awaited rematch.

TheyÂ'll be fighting for the undisputed heavyweight title, which a lot of people thought Lewis won when he fought Holyfield in March.

That bout ended in a controversial draw. With a review and a preview, The Early Show's National Correspondent Jon Frankel is in Las Vegas.
Boxing fans have almost given up on this sport.

Yes, the arena is sold out for the fight, but there are a lot of people who didnÂ't know there was a fight. And when you tell them, the conversation isnÂ't about SaturdayÂ's fight but the first fight.

"I even scored [the fight] myself. If I want to be biased even toward Evander Holyfield, I would have given him three rounds," Lewis says.
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Three rounds. That was Holyfield's prediction on how long it would take him to knock Lewis out. But it was Holyfield, known for his heart and strong will, who revealed he thought of throwing in the towel.

"At times, I wanted to bail out," Holyfield says.

"I was disappointed. I wanted to knock him out in the third round, and I wasnÂ't prepped to go any more," he recalls.

But Holyfield went the full 12 rounds, ending in the controversial draw.

That decision, coupled with recent corruption charges against top officials at the International Boxing Federation, makes Lewis suspicious about the first fight.

"The fact that when you think about the IBF, their judge which really voted the fifth round where I was beating up Evander Holyfield badly and [they] actually scored that for Evander Holyfield,...something was afoot; something was dodgey when it came to that fight," says Lewis.

Looking at the big picture of the sport, hotel rooms were hard to come by for the upcoming weekend - not because there was a heavyweight fight, but because there is a computer convention.

Yet Lewis remains positive. "Most people are going to come see the fight from the computer convention. IÂ'm sure theyÂ'd be talking on the laptop, 'Are you going to see the Lennox Lewis/Evander Holyfield fight?Â'" he notes.

Still, thereÂ's a fight this weekend, and people on the street donÂ't even know about it.

BoxingÂ's always had some kind of drama following it, Lewis says. "It has always had its black eyes, ups and downs. I believe that great fights will turn it around," notes Lewis.

Great fights are what the sportÂ's been missing. Many involved in boxing are counting on this upcoming fight to change that.


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Evander Holyfield says Saturday's fight is his chance to redeem himself.

But Holyfield knows he must perform better. He thinks in the first fight he messed up and made some mistakes. "But they're all behind me now. And I have a chance to redeem myself. And I will," says Holyfield.

He will not say if this is his last fight, but he admits at age 37, itÂ's almost time to make that decision, and Lewis wants to make that for him.

"I might have to beat him into the ground before he retires, but I think this fight is going to be his retirement fight," Lewis says.

"People are going to say to him, 'Boy, Evander, I think you should retire,'" he adds.

For more information read "Can Boxing Take More Hits?"

And to find out more about the contest, read "Holyfield vs. Lewis Part II."color>

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  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

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