History | Nov 06 2019

On This Day: The infamous ‘Fan Man’ gatecrashed the Riddick Bowe vs Evander Holyfield rematch

Evander Holyfield is upstaged by the infamous Fan Man, writes George Gigney
Evander holyfield
Evander Holyfield  |  Action Images/Reuters/Gary Hershorn

BOXING has never seen a stranger incident. About a minute into the seventh round of Riddick Bowe’s rematch with Evander Holyfield at the open-air Caesars Palace arena in Las Vegas on November 6, 1993, a “lunatic parasailer” crash-landed ringside to create “the most dramatic occasion in the history of boxing,” according to Harry Mullan’s ringside report.

James Miller, 30, disturbed what was a “magnificent championship battle” for Bowe’s WBA and IBF heavyweight titles. The delay took 22 minutes, and MC Michael Buffer kept the crowd of 14,242 calm by talking to them throughout.

When the action continued, Holyfield worked toward another unforeseen event by outpointing Bowe on a majority decision to become only the third man in history to regain world heavyweight honours, with Floyd Patterson and Muhammad Ali being the first two.

Evander Holyfield