19 years ago tonight on November 6, 1993 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada, Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield defeated Riddick “Big Daddy” Bowe by a majority decision to regain the lineal, WBA and IBF heavyweight titles.
Unfortunately, rather than being recalled as the second epic clash between Holyfield (42-10-2, 27 KOs) and Bowe (43-1-0-1, 33 KOs), the match is notorious because a jackass named James Miller flew a motorized paraglider near ringside during the seventh round and forced action to be halted for 20 minutes.
Upon crashing, Miller, whose moniker will forever be the “Fan Man,” was savagely pummeled by Bowe’s flunkies until security guards decided to rescue the trespasser.
“It was a heavyweight fight,” said Miller, who sadly committed suicide at the age of 39 in 2002. “Yet I was the only guy who got knocked out.”
The shredded, 6-foot-2 208 pound Holyfield, who captured a bronze medal at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles and is also ranked as the preeminent cruiserweight ever by The Boxing Scene, was dominating the tubby Bowe before Miller interrupted.
Fortunately for the 6-foot-5, 246 pound Bowe, a silver medalist as a super heavyweight at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul who is rated as the 21st greatest heavyweight in history by Boxing Scene, the stoppage allowed the Brooklynite to physically recover and mentally regroup.
However, “Big Daddy’s” pregnant wife, Judy, fainted in the chaos and was rushed from the arena to a local hospital for treatment.
When the fistfight finally restarted, Holyfield reassumed control and managed to narrowly outpoint a likely distracted Bowe to again become the heavyweight king.
Roughly two years after Miller’s infamous prank on November 4, 1995, Bowe knocked Holyfield onto Queer Street in the eighth round to emerge as the victor in the spectacular prizefighting trilogy.
Still, somewhat amazingly, for one evening nearly two decades past, the “Fan Man” was a bigger name than both Evander Holyfield and Riddick Bowe.by