Before his father can be called to appear in a New York courtroom as a witness for King, an out-of-court settlement is reached. King is barred from promoting Buster's fight with Evander Holyfield, though he gets nearly $4 million and the right of first refusal on future Douglas fights. That night Bill is seen whooping it up at King's celebration party in Harlem. Buster reads about it the next day and bites his bottom lip.
But Buster says he is free now, at last. Free because he finally knows the hardness and hunger are inside of him, not just his father. Free because he finally understands the price he has to pay to dredge them up. He and Bertha are back together, and in January they expect a child. He seems happier and more focused, although one day a few months ago, in the middle of a five-mile jog, the shadow came over him again. "I'm in the snakepit of all snakepits," he mumbled, and stopped running.
Upon winning the title, Buster said he would stay in the snakepit for just two more fights—next week's bout in Las Vegas against Holyfield, for which he will earn a record-breaking $24 million, and a Tyson rematch. But now he's hedging. He says he'll fight George Foreman. His eyes widen a little. And yes, he'll fight Tyson as many times, in as many places, as he has to.
"I know that kind of man," the son says as he rises from the couch in his living room. "You have to kill him to keep him down." He starts throwing punches. "I'll fight that man forever," he says.