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FEAR & CLOTHING IN LAS VEGAS
Rick Reilly
July 07, 1997
The finery and thuggery of a fight-week crowd in Las Vegas are beyond belief—but then, so was the surreal aftermath of Tyson-Holyfield II
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July 07, 1997

Fear & Clothing In Las Vegas

The finery and thuggery of a fight-week crowd in Las Vegas are beyond belief—but then, so was the surreal aftermath of Tyson-Holyfield II

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"What?" says the security guard.

"I have something Evander probably wants," Libonati says, holding out his offering. The Holyfield camp takes it and thanks him. This is recorded as the first time in Las Vegas hotel history that an employee came to a door and left a tip.

25 MINUTES AFTER THE FIGHT

Holyfield climbs into an ambulance with paramedics and his strength and conditioning trainer, Tim Hallmark. The paramedics pack the glove in a plastic bag and bury it in an ice chest. But when Holyfield arrives at Valley Hospital Medical Center, nobody can find the glove.

"There were a lot of gloves and bags in there, and we were digging through them, and we just couldn't find it," says Hallmark. Doctors sew Holyfield up as best they can. Some cosmetic surgery will have to come later.

You just pray that later this summer, at the annual Las Vegas Ambulance Drivers family picnic, somebody doesn't reach into the cooler for the hot dogs and pull out a chunk of boxing history instead.

30 MINUTES AFTER THE FIGHT
The Range Rover in which Tyson is riding is blocked by a limo. This gives fans behind the Grand Garden Arena a moment to scream a few things at Tyson. One fan calls him a chump. This causes Tyson to go triple O.J. He unrolls the window and threatens to kill the guy, and it seems like he's about to jump out and snack on the guy's extremities when the limo backs up and the Rover peels off. The screamer looks as if he's seen his ears pass before his eyes.

3 HOURS AFTER THE FIGHT

Bob the cabbie turns out to be a seer. In a wild night at the MGM Grand's casino, a huge, sharp pop causes a human stampede to the doors. Some people say guns were waved. Some say the pop was a shot. Some say it was only a champagne bottle that fell out of a Tyson Guy's uniform, smashing on the floor and causing itchy patrons to expect the worst: more East-West gang payback.

Mark West, the 7-foot center of the Cleveland Cavaliers, is in the middle of it. "Everyone just started running like crazy," he says later. "I found a place to sit down. When you're as tall as me, a stampede is trouble."

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