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Evander Holyfield

Bowe II: The “Fan Man” Fight

November 6, 1993 — Las Vegas

The sporting press went crazy when Evander’s second fight against Riddick Bowe was set up. Since beating Evander in their first match, they said, Bowe had gotten bigger, faster and stronger, and Evander wasn’t just going to get whupped, he was going to get killed.

They were wrong. Evander beat Bowe and was the world champion again, only the third time in history anyone had ever gotten the heavyweight title back after losing it. Unfortunately, not too many people were talking about what an historic fight it had been, because they were too busy talking about something else that had happened.

It was during the seventh round. Evander had been dominating the fight since the opening bell and now had Riddick against the ropes. When a weird sound came from high overhead and people started looking up in the air, Evander shoved Riddick away and looked up just in time to see something floating down into the ring: a motorized hang glider. After the chute snagged on the massive rigging holding the overhead lights, a bunch of people in the crowd dragged him down and started beating him, and kept it up until a squad of security guys rescued him. His name was James Miller and he’d forever after be known as “Fan Man.”

The fight was stopped, and it took more than twenty minutes to get it going again. Evander was annoyed because all the momentum had been on his side and Riddick now had a chance to get rested up. But when they finally got the go-ahead to resume, Evander fell back into the groove pretty quickly. Riddick made him go all twelve rounds but Evander got the decision and had his world title back.

He would lose it again — and almost lose his life — when he fought Michael Moorer five months later.

© 2011 by Steeplechase Run, Inc. All Rights Reserved — Posted by permission of the author