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"I heard them yelling for him," Holmes said later, "but it didn't mean anything. At the time, he was beating the hell out of me. So they yelled for him. When I was beating the hell out of him, they was yelling for me.".
Going back to the jab, pawing at times with the right, Holmes regained some control. He won the sixth and seventh rounds, but he was breathing hard. He appeared to be spent.
In the crowd, Shavers, seeing his September title shot unexpectedly slipping away, became alarmed. "You're messing with my money!" he screamed up at Holmes. "I got to feed my babies. Run from him. If you can't run from him, give me the baton and I'll get in the ring and run from him."
In the eighth and ninth rounds, both men, too tired to run or to give chase, battered each other about the ring. At any moment it seemed as though one—or both—would fall from exhaustion.
It was while trudging back to his corner at the end of the ninth round that Holmes decided enough was enough. "I thought about my title," he said. "And I thought about this guy trying to take it from me. I knew I had made a lot of mistakes: that I had taken him too lightly, that I should have trained a lot harder. I decided to suck it up. If I was going to be a champion, then, damn it, I was gonna fight like a champion. He was gonna have to kill me to take my title."
As the 10th round began, Holmes said to Weaver, "I'm the champion. There's no way you're gonna beat me."
"I'm gonna try," Weaver answered.
They went at each other with a fury. Near the end of the round Holmes drilled a right to Weaver's jaw and bounced another off the top of his head.
"Now," Holmes thought.
He stepped in—and took a solid right on the chin that staggered him. Reaching deeply within, Holmes remained toe to toe with Weaver for the last few seconds.