Ear is off the menu! Evander Holyfield, 59, SHUTS DOWN talk of an exhibition fight against old rival Mike Tyson, saying ‘it’s too late’ for a trilogy, a quarter century after the infamous biting incident
- Evander Holyfield told TMZ that it’s ‘too late’ for him to fight Mike Tyson again
- The 59-year-old had engaged in fruitless talks on an Tyson exhibition in 2021
- The two fought twice in the 1990s, with Holyfield winning both encounters
- The second fight was marred by Tyson’s disqualification for biting Holyfield’s ear
Mike Tyson will not be getting another serving of Evander Holyfield’s ear.
Following talks of an exhibition fight between the two quasi-retired rivals, the 59-year-old Holyfield is choosing common sense over a surefire payday against the 56-year-old Tyson.
‘It’s too late,’ Holyfield told TMZ, adding, ‘I’m done now.’
The four-time heavyweight champion reportedly negotiated with Tyson’s camp in the spring of 2021, but the two sides were far apart on a potential purse split. Kris Lawrence, Holyfield’s manager, told TMZ that ‘it appears we just ended up wasting our time.’
Still, the possibility of an exhibition between the two Hall of Famers remained until Holyfield’s statement to TMZ.
Although Evander Holyfield (right) had previously considered an exhibition bout against ex-rival Mike Tyson, the 59-year-old said ‘it’s too late’ now when asked about a potential trilogy
Referee Lane Mills (L) steps in as Evander Holyfield (R) reacts after Mike Tyson bit his ear in the third round of their WBA heavyweight championship fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena
Of course, anyone who had seen Holyfield lose an exhibition to former MMA star Vitor Belfort 11 months ago already knew he was done. The Georgia native suffered a first-round technical knockout and looked winded from the opening bell.
Tyson has looked only slightly better in his senior-circuit exhibition, fighting to a draw against a 51-year-old Roy Jones Jr.
He has flirted with the idea of fighting a much younger opponent, albeit an inexperienced one: YouTube star Jake Paul.
The Sun reported in January that the two sides were working on a deal that could generate $50 million, but nothing has come to fruition.
Tyson and Holyfield have obvious history, which is what made an exhibition between the two 50-somethings intriguing.
(Left) Evander Holyfield looks on after being defeated by Vitor Belfort in the first round of an exhibition. (Right) Mike Tyson throws a punch in the fourth round against Roy Jones Jr. during Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr. presented by Triller at Staples Center on November 28, 2020 in LA
Referee Lane Mills (C) stops the fight in the third round as Evander Holyfield (R) holds his ear
Blood flows down his arm and chest as Evander Holyfield (R) has his ear examined by the ringside doctor 28 June 1997 during his WBA heavyweight championship fight against Mike Tyson at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV. Holyfield won by disqualification in the the third round after Tyson bit him
Boxer Mike Tyson looks at the ink on his hands after being fingerprinted during booking at the City-County Building in Indianapolis, March 26, 1992 after receiving a sentence of six years in prison from Judge Patricia Gifford for rape and deviant conduct
The two seemed destined to fight in the late 1980s and early 1990s when Holyfield, then a cruiserweight champion, moved up to a heavyweight division ruled by Tyson.
But that highly anticipated matchup was lost in 1990 when Tyson was upset in Tokyo by James ‘Buster’ Douglas, who then lost his titles to Holyfield in October of 1990.
A poster for the ’97 Holyfield/Tyson rematch
Then, in 1991, Tyson was infamously convicted of rape in Indiana and remained in prison until 1995.
After several preliminary fights, Tyson and Holyfield finally did meet for the first of two bouts in November of 1996.
Tyson, while favored, struggled against Holyfield, and ultimately lost by a 11th-round stoppage. Afterwards he complained about headbutts from Holyfield — a problem that would arise again in the rematch in 1997.
Over nearly three rounds, Tyson would bite Holyfield’s left and right ears before being disqualified by Judge Mills Lane. Tyson later said he was retaliating against Holyfield’s headbutts.
‘I bit him because I wanted to kill him. I was really mad about my head being bumped and everything,’ Tyson told Jim Gray on Fox News in 2020. ‘I really lost consciousness of the whole fight. It took me out of my fight plan and everything.’