74 HOURS TO THE FIGHT
This isn't exactly the Budget lot: Ferrari Mondial convertibles ($500 a day, plus a buck a mile); Dodge Vipers in all your favorite colors ($400 a day, plus a buck a mile); 21 other kinds of sports cars; 15 types of Harleys, including the Ultra Classic ($200 a day). It's $5 million worth of adult show-and-tell on one lot, polished, gassed and ready to drive the one eighth of a mile to the MGM Grand, where, in most cases, the car will be parked out of sight the whole time. "We get rich people who want to drive something like they drive at home," says Rent a Vette owner Robert Wolfe, "or we get average people who want to make it look like this is what they drive at home."
Either way, all of Wolfe's fleet will be rented out by fight morning, which is when he starts losing his hair. "I don't sleep," he says. "Everything I own is on the street. And if Tyson loses, these people go ballistic."
68 HOURS TO THE FIGHT
Sgt. Ron Swift of the special-events squad at the Las Vegas Metro Police Department has a lot on his mind as the Michael Buffer hour nears: several thousand Las Vegas gang members, prominent gang leaders from other cities, a sizzling East Coast vs. West Coast gang war, memories of rap star Tupac Shakur's murder the night of Tyson's 1996 fight against Bruce Seldon, ticket scalpers and credential forgers. Oh, and one other thing. Steven Seagal. "Last time he came to a Tyson fight," says Swift, "he didn't want to give up his gun."
60 HOURS TO THE FIGHT
It's another in sane, jam-packed day at the Shadow Creek Golf Club, where, what with prefight madness, they are expecting nearly 10 foursomes for the day. That's a lot at a place that has no members, charges no greens fee, allows almost nobody in and yet is ranked among the top 15 U.S. courses.
Steve Wynn's 320-acre plaything is the most exclusive and expensive golf course ever built, an outlandish 18-hole Xanadu sprung miraculously from the scrubland outside Las Vegas, like an outdoor version of Wynn's phantasmagorical Mirage lobby. One minute you are driving in some of the ugliest, barest earth anywhere, and the next you happen upon a square mile of Vermont, a lush world of trees (12,000 shipped in), flowers (changed four times a year), rabbits and pheasants and rare birds (all trucked in), lakes and streams and waterfalls (man-made). "It's amazing what you can do with a little grass seed," says Wynn, "and 40 million dollars."
Golf is just one of the things Wynn provides for the beautiful baccarat set whose members arrive for the fight and stay at the Mirage. Wynn might also I) pick them up in am of the hotel's three jets; 2) tuck them into any of the Mirage's eight cozy 5,000-square-foot, three-bedroom "suite complexes"; 3) take care of all their meals, drinks and shows; and 4) get them as many great seats to the fight as they need. Everything comped, naturally. You do not want to be charged for the range balls when you are playing baccarat at $100,000 a hand.
34 HOURS TO THE FIGHT
Tyson lays a bouquet at the grave of Sonny Liston. "Mike didn't know until yesterday where Liston was buried," says his trainer, Richie Giachetti. "You can't believe how much the old fighters mean to Mike."