Lennox Lewis, who had described himself as a one-punch knockout artist, had to settle for a 12-round unanimous decision over Zeljko Mavrovic in a heavyweight tent show Saturday night at the Mohegan Sun casino.
There was no question that Lewis was the harder puncher than the challenger from Croatia, but he never had Mavrovic in serious trouble. Nor was he ever in serious danger.There were no knockdowns, although Lewis was cut in the mouth and Mavrovic was marked about both eyes.
Lewis controlled the action with hard right uppercuts and stiff left jabs and won handily.
Judge Franfisco Ciminale of Italy scored it 117-111, Tommy Kaczmarak of New Jersey had it 119-109 and Bob Logist of Belgium saw it 117-112.
The Associated Press scored it 117-111 for Lewis.
"I said before the fight `You are my friend' and I meant `You are my friend,"' Mavrovic said in the ring. "You beat me, and nobody ever beat me before."
Mavrovic, who entered the fight 27-0 with 22 knockouts, boxed well in the first few rounds before Lewis took charge in the fourth, landing several hard rights to the head and a good shot to the body. In the fifth round, Lewis landed several good jabs and left hooks and a right to the body that made Mavrovic grunt.
A CompuBox analysis of the fight showed Lewis landed 216 of 507 punches in this mandatory WBC heavyweight defense.