June 28 this year commemorated the 26th anniversary of a remarkable and unconventional event in both boxing and sports history: Mike Tyson‘s infamous ear-biting incident on Evander Holyfield during their rematch fight. In the initial bout, Holyfield clearly outclassed a diminished ‘Iron’ Mike, who didn’t last long in the ring.
However, the rematch between the two boxing legends took an infamous turn. During a clinch, Tyson, driven by desperation, shockingly bit off a piece of Holyfield’s ear. Bewildered and shocked, Holyfield jumped up on the canvas, leading to Tyson’s disqualification. The true extent of the incident became clear only when slow-motion footage was revealed on the arena screen. In a recent interview, Holyfield revealed his interpretation of what actually caused the incident.
Evander Holyfield explains the reason behind Mike Tyson’s ear-biting incident
The fallout was severe. Tyson faced a life-altering suspension until 1999, while Holyfield retained his WBA title but suffered ear damage. Termed the ‘Bite Fight,’ the incident led to Tyson’s boxing license revocation, a $3 million fine, and legal fees. Despite an appeal, Tyson’s license was reinstated in October 1998 by a 4-1 vote from the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
According to Holyfield, in any situation involving mental tactics or when one is trying to escape a predicament, it’s all about finding a way out. Tyson expected Holyfield to be afraid when he first bit his ear. When that didn’t succeed, he just got desperate. “He thought I was gonna be scared. So, when I came and caught him that shot, he grabbed me and bit the other one,” said Holyfield.
Tyson later admitted to Holyfield that he wanted to quit the fight but couldn’t do it. So he was ready to do anything as an out. “Cuz he said, ‘Look, I’d rather be out of here than be in there with him’,” revealed Holyfield.
Evander Holyfield teases another rematch with Mike Tyson
Holyfield is open to a profitable exhibition rematch with Mike Tyson, echoing Tyson’s return to the ring against Roy Jones Jr. in 2020. Despite both fighters being in their 50s, the prospect of a lighthearted exhibition trilogy remains viable. In an interview with SunSport, Holyfield emphasized the mutual aspect, highlighting that the focus is not solely on him but on both fighters.