Just as the bell rang to end Round 6, Holmes missed with a right hand, and his huge forearm smashed against Holyfield's head, ripping open a deep, long cut on the champion's right eyelid. Holyfield has the best of everything in his camp, including cut men. Ace Marotta took control of the ugly gash, and while it would later require 12 stitches, the injury was never a physical factor for the remainder of the fight.
Still, concerned about the first wound of his career, Holyfield began to follow his corner's advice. He took the fight to the center of the ring, where he was supposed to have taken it from the opening bell, and Holmes, tired but devoted now to finishing the fight, went with him. There Holyfield piled up the points, but it was a boring exercise, and at the end the crowd booed lustily. Then Holmes, totally exhausted, barfed into a dark green trash bag.
Somewhere a fight fan cheered.
The scoring was academic, all for Holyfield: Hamada 117-111, and Chuck Giampa and Carol Castellano both 116-112.
If Holmes had beaten Holyfield, Holmes's promoter, Bob Arum, would have had the champ make his first defense against Foreman. A megabuck fight. The Geezers at Caesars. "It will still be a great fight," thundered Arum, moments after the decision. "The public deserves it."
"No, Bob," said the world, walking away quickly.