Mitch Halpern

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Mitchell Howard "Mitch" Halpern (July 14, 1967 – August 20, 2000) was a renowned boxing referee who officiated some of boxing's biggest matches.

He began his career in March 1991 and went on to referee 87 championship fights and hundreds of non-title fights around the world. He was criticized for not stopping the fight on May 6, 1995 when Jimmy Garcia challenged Gabriel Ruelas for his WBC super featherweight title. Garcia lost that fight by TKO and died 13 days later from injuries sustained during the fight. He was in the ring when Evander Holyfield knocked out Mike Tyson for the WBA heavyweight title in 1996. He was scheduled to have refereed the infamous "Bite Fight" rematch but Tyson's camp vehemently opposed and he was replaced by Mills Lane.

Halpern was also the referee for many big Las Vegas fights, including Oscar De La Hoya vs. both Ike Quartey and Félix Trinidad, the rematch between Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis, the first fight between Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield and the first of three meetings between Erik Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera.

He died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound which was reported to be the result of a domestic dispute.Sports Illustrated article: ""


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