Duke Durden of the Nevada commission and the WBC's representative at the fight said. "If the ref hadn't stopped it Snipes could have been killed. When Ortega came in. Snipes's legs were wobbling and he was defenseless. They can protest all they want. Ortega was 100 percent correct. "
The following morning Holmes, richer by $1.1 million, unmarked and now 39-0 after 11 straight defenses of the title he won from Ken Norton in June of 1978, was relatively happy Snipes, his arm in a splint, the eye wound closed by five additional stitches, his lacerated mouth and face swollen, remained in seclusion. "He's pretty bitter that they robbed him." said Rattenni.
(All three judges had Holmes well ahead: Spider Bynum scored it Holmes 97-91; Eddie Woods had it 96-93; and Tony Castellano's scorecard read 96-91.)
Holmes couldn't find fault with Ortega's cease-fire. "But I wish he hadn't stopped it," he said cheerfully. "At that point I wanted to punish Snipes some more. But I think when his people look at the tape replays they'll quit protesting. When Davey Pearl stopped the Leonard-Hearns fight, I thought he was wrong. But when I saw it on TV, I was wrong."
Holmes laughed when he was asked about the other fight. "It was just a lot of name calling," he said. "Snipes called me a chump, which I didn't like. Then Jake and Snipes's manager started calling each other names, and that's something you don't do with Jake. He's my brother, and if he wasn't, I sure as hell wouldn't want to fight him. When I jumped up I was just trying to calm Jake. Then I said to hell with it, and me and Howard ducked under the ring."
And that's when Snipes, who made $175,000 for losing for the first time career fights, got scissored. It may have been the first postfight interview in history ever stopped on cuts.