King Grilled About Fight Call

Saving his answers for the senators, consummate showman Don King was in high spirits Thursday as he faced New York State's Senate hearing into Saturday's Lewis-Holyfield heavyweight boxing match.

"If you look at the perception, I was to blame for the Johnstown floods, World War II, the San Francisco fire. Anything to blame in the world, they get me," King said to reporters.

But King wasn't the only one deflecting jabs, reports CBS News Correspondent Maggie Cooper. While Lennox Lewis fumed about being "robbed," the judge at the center of Lewis' controversial draw with Evander Holyfield, Eugenia Williams, maintained she scored it the way she saw it.

And apparently she couldn't see it as well as the other two judges because of her ringside position.

Asked at a state Senate hearing Thursday if she had any second thoughts about scoring the fight for Holyfield in wake of the controversy, Williams said, "No sir, I scored what I saw when I saw it."

She saw it 115-113 for Holyfield.

Much has been made of Williams scoring the fifth round for Holyfield although Lewis, the WBC champion from Britain, outpunched WBA-IBF champion Holyfield 43-11 and had him pinned on the ropes for about 45 seconds.

Sen. Roy Goodman, chairman of the state Senate Committee on Investigations, asked Williams how she would score the round after she watched a tape of it at the hearing.

"It looks like Lewis won that round," Williams said. "But what I saw on TV is not what I saw that night. Certain punches I saw now I don't remember seeing them that night because of movement of the [ringside] photographer and the position of Lewis' body. What I saw in each individual round is what I scored."

Williams, appointed by the IBF, was backed up by WBC judge Larry O'Connell of England, who scored the fight even at 115-115. WBA judge Stanley Christodoulou of South Africa favored Lewis 116-113.

"I did notice she had the worst seat of the lot because she was surrounded by photographers," O'Connell told the hearing by telephone from England. "You do miss things from different angles of the ring."

O'Connell and Christodoulou did not have photographers around them.

"Everything should be looked into," Lewis said Thursday upon his return to London. Frank Maloney, Lewis' manager, said he didn't believe bribes had been paid, but that it was more a case of incompetent judging.

Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau has convened a grand jury to issue subpoenas and gather testimony about the unification fight. The New York State Athletic Commission also is investigating.

Both Williams and O'Connell adamantly denied anyone tried to influence their scoring in any way.

Goodman asked Williams, a $39,200-a-year account clerk from Atlantic City, if anyone attempted to use her filing for bankruptcy to influence her judging.

"Absoltely not," she said.

King also testified Thursday, saying, "I have nothing to do with the selection of officials. I have no interest in who they will select."

Jose Sulaiman, president of the WBC, spoke to the hearing by telephone from Mexico City and said he hadn't wanted either an American or British judge, but three neutral judges.