There is animosity and then there was Mike Tyson biting off a piece of Evander Holyfield’s ear in 1997, and spitting it onto the floor. How they have become quasi-friends after such an act speaks to growth in both men.
Holyfield was understandably furious and miffed, but remained steadfast in his “faith” and eventually said he forgave Tyson for the disgusting display that disqualified him in their heavyweight championship bout at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Tyson has admitted fault, apologized and asked for forgiveness. And so, the men have appeared in a television commercial making light of the event, and now none other than Tyson will present Holyfield next month for induction into the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame at the Tropicana Hotel.
Tyson will hand Holyfield his Hall of Fame trophy. Tyson called the opportunity to present Holyfield a “privilege and high honor.”
Holyfield’s response to Tyson’s involvement? “That’s great,” he said.
Rich Marotta, the longtime boxing broadcaster and president of the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame, said: “This is the kind of thing we showed is possible in boxing last year at our inaugural induction ceremony — former and even current rivals coming together under the same roof to celebrate boxing. Everyone checks those rivalries at the door. Tyson presenting Holyfield is sheer magic.”
Holyfield is being enshrined in the “non-Nevada resident” category, along with George Foreman and Roberto Duran, as voted on by a 35-member panel.
Tyson was inducted in the “Nevada resident” category in the inaugural ceremony in 2013. Holyfield and Tyson both fought many of their biggest fights in Las Vegas.