seventh, the best round of the fight, Shipes told Foreman, "The miracle is
going your way, George. You just got to get closer." Foreman did his best.
He hit Holyfield with a solid right to the head, sending him dancing five steps
back. Giving chase, Foreman got off 27 punches and four pushes before Holyfield
could get off a hook in return.
expected Holyfield to fold in the face of such a barrage. Instead, the champion
gathered himself and drove his tormentor back with a hook to the head, followed
by 18 unanswered punches. At the end of the assault, Holyfield, momentarily
spent, fell against Foreman, who refused to clinch. Pushing Holyfield away with
disdain, he pressed forward. It was magnificent.
Two rounds later,
with eight seconds to go, Holyfield nearly ended the fight. A right hand to the
chin over a lazy jab froze Foreman, who dropped his hands. Springing forward,
Holyfield slammed home 11 more punches before the bell. Battle paid a visit to
Foreman's corner. "You all right, George?" he asked. Foreman's nod sent
the referee on his way.
In the 10th, the
two fighters took turns testing each other's heart. A Holyfield right snapped
Foreman's head back. A moment later Foreman missed with a right hand, and then
scored with a hard hook to the head. Holyfield responded with two hands to the
In the final
rounds both men—hurt and exhausted—continued to attack, until the last seven
seconds of the bout, when, supposedly in a clinch, they sort of hugged each
other. Before the scoring was announced, Foreman put his massive arms around
Holyfield and Duva and said, "Thank you for giving me the opportunity. You
"Absolutely," said Duva.
apparently scored a few rounds for Foreman with their hearts: Tom Kaczmarek had
it 115-112, Eugene Grant 116-111, Jerry Roth 117-110. Roth's score was
erroneously announced as 117-100. "Oh lord," he moaned. "If they
hear that back in Vegas, they won't let me judge another fight."
Atlantic City early Saturday morning to fly back to Texas, where he preached in
his Church of the Lord Jesus Christ on Sunday. Holyfield went to church in Los
Angeles. After the bout Holyfield said, "I prayed a lot before the fight.
So did George. I know a lot of people wanted to know which side the Lord would
take. He took both sides."
Only one hand was
raised in Atlantic City last Friday night, but there were two winners. Nobody
laughs at folk heroes.