Nosebleed seats and a bloody ear

Mike Tyson bites Evander Holyfield's ear during their 1997 heavyweight rematch in Las Vegas. Photo by Jack Smith/The Associated Press
Mike Tyson bites Evander Holyfield’s ear during their 1997 heavyweight rematch in Las Vegas. Photo by Jack Smith/The Associated Press

Rob Lowe’s most notable Las Vegas story — at least the one that he’ll share publicly — takes place on June 28, 1997, during the Mike Tyson-Evander Holyfield rematch at the MGM Grand.
“I’ll never forget, I was with my manager, who was a very powerful man, but he’d kind of lost his fastball a little bit. And I was one of his last remaining clients because I was really loyal. And we were sitting in the green room with, like, Nicolas Cage and Brad Pitt and Dennis Miller, all friends.
“And they lead us out to the seats. They go ringside.
And we start climbing. Up. The. Arena. And I’m, like, ‘This .. doesn’t … seem … right.’
“Our seats were the second from the top in the arena.  My manager kept going, ‘I like it up here. It’s easier to get to the exits!’ I couldn’t see anything except all my friends all down by ringside. People are looking at me, like, ‘What? What are you doing here?’ ”
Lowe was so far from the action, he never even saw one of the most infamous moments in all of sports: Tyson biting off a chunk of Holyfield’s ear.
“You saw Holyfield start jumping up and down with both hands on his head like he had a sudden migraine. We didn’t know what the hell was going on.”
Unconfirmed reports of gunshots in the aftermath of the fight’s abrupt stoppage caused a panic among the stunned spectators.
“Then, of course, there was a riot. People overturning craps tables. It was a big-time riot. And I’m telling you,
I swear on my children, I saw at least one dead person.
“And the next day in the papers it was, like, ‘Champagne corks cause mass confusion.’ And I was, like, ‘You know, it’s good to know that Vegas is still, in part, a company town.’ ” — Christopher Lawrence

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