Boxing fans said they felt stunned and cheated after paying $30 to watch a closed-circuit broadcast here of a Mike Tyson-Michael Spinks fight that lasted less than two minutes.
Tyson defended his undisputed heavyweight championship with a knockout at 1:31 of the first round in Atlantic City, N.J.At Detroit's Joe Louis Arena, about 10,000 people booed, cheered and yelled at two huge screens set up at either end of the building, one of 15 Michigan sites at which the contest was broadcast.
Tyson knocked out Spinks with a crashing left-right to the head to retain the heavyweight title.
"The money is just too much," said Terry Smith, 20, of Woodhaven. "We paid four bucks a second is what it amounted to. The fighters don't want to fight anymore. They want all that money and they laugh their way to the bank."
"I'm disgusted," said Malcolm Hart, 17, of Detroit. "Spinks could have gave a battle. I could have lasted three rounds. It was $30 for a few seconds."
Others said the brief title match - the fourth shortest on record - was history they were glad to witness.
"It was worth the $30 to see it go one round," said Harold Peel, 56, of Windsor, Ontario, located across the Detroit River from here.
Tickets sold for up to $50 for seats at smaller theater screenings of the fight around the state.
Concessionaires said short fight didn't cut into profits, because of heavy sales during the two-hour undercard.
"Most sales are made before the fight," said Mike Murray., a Little Ceaser's Pizza manager. "Sales during the main event are minimal. They paid $30 for a seat so they don't want to miss it."
Some fans even suspected the fight may have been fixed.
"It's clearly a set up if they only fight a couple of seconds," said Keith Hampton, 24, of Detroit. "Tyson hardly hit Spinks and he went down. They're (pinks and Tyson) friends. They'll laugh together about it after the fight."
A Detroit police officer who asked not to be identified said there were no problems reported with the crowd.