Evander Holyfield recently announced that he wanted a rematch with the man who bit his ear during an infamous match during the 1990s.
After watching Tyson’s exhibition match on Saturday, Nov. 27, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Holyfield said that a third fight between him and the former heavyweight champion would be “a global event and the only fight that anyone wants to see.” Holyfield, himself a former heavyweight champ, hasn’t had a boxing match in nearly ten years, and Tyson had been retired from the sport for 15 years before his matchup with Jones, which the judges ruled a draw.
Now it appears Holyfield is serious and ready to get the paperwork started to bring this dream rematch to life. In a statement to ESPN on Tuesday, Dec. 1, the 58-year-old claims he “tried to make the fight happen, and we got nothing but excuses.” He added, “Now I can see why he wanted a tuneup fight before thinking about fighting me.”
“No more excuses. This is the fight that must happen for both our legacies. Saturday night you said you were ready to fight me, so sign the contract and get in the ring, Tyson. The world is waiting, and it’s on you now. I’m ready,” Holyfield explained.
Just minutes after the Jones fight Tyson was asked about going toe-to-toe again with his old nemesis — Holyfield won both of their matchups in the 1990s — and the 54-year-old claimed that the unwillingness was on Holyfield’s end. “Maybe Evander needs to talk to me, because every time my business associates talk to his business associates, it doesn’t turn out well,” Tyson told reporters.
He added, “So I don’t know. If you could see what we made tonight, if these guys really care about the welfare of Evander, they would have had this fight with Evander. Maybe we’ll do another, but whoever he’s with, whoever is handling him is totally wrong.” The “Hotboxin” podcast host has yet to respond to Holyfield’s latest statement.
The last time Tyson and Holyfield were in a ring together was in June 1997. Holyfield won by way of a fourth-round disqualification after Tyson bit his ear twice — the first time ripping a piece off — in retaliation for what he thought were intentional head-butts by Holyfield. Tyson was falling behind and was docked two points for the initial bite before going for another snip at Holyfield’s ear. Tyson lost his boxing license, but it was later reinstated.
The pair’s first fight was much cleaner but no less decisive in favor of Holyfield, who pummeled Tyson knocked in the match and won by an 11th-round technical knockout on Nov. 9, 1996.