Boxing legends Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield apparently will be squaring off in an exhibition match after some very public back and forth from both camps. On March 23, there was concern the fight wouldn’t happen after Holyfield’s camp claimed Tyson turned down a guaranteed $25 million and noting negotiations were “at a standstill,” a claim Tyson’s camp disputed.
Later the same day Tyson claimed the fight would happen during an Instagram Live interview with Haute Living. “I just want everybody to know the fight is on with me and Holyfield. Holyfield’s a humble man, I know that, and he’s a man of God but I’m God’s man. Listen, I’m going to be successful May 29,” Tyson said.
The apparent reversal of course came after Tyson’s camp called foul on the reports coming from Holyfield’s camp.
“Nobody offered Mike $25 million,’’ Tyson’s brother-in-law Azim Spicer, who handles contract negotiations for the champ, said according to USA Today. “Mike doesn’t want to do anything with them anymore. We’re done.’’
“While neither side has announced publicly that the fight is not going to happen, with negotiations at a standstill and the date rapidly approaching, it seems unlikely that this fight will occur as planned,” a press release from Holyfield’s camp said.
Tyson and Holyfield, both legendary boxers, have a storied history. Tyson infamously was disqualified after biting off a piece of Holyfield’s ear during their second fight in 1997, a year after Holyfield won their first match by an 11th-round technical knockout.
Public discussion of the two facing off in the ring again surged after Tyson faced Roy Jones Jr. in an eight-round exhibition match last November. The fight brought in great ratings and a hefty payday for both fighters.
Just three weeks ago on March 2 Holyfield posted a video to his Instagram which showed him training with the caption “Getting back in my rhythm just waiting on my dance partner now @miketyson to show up. Where you at?”
Holyfield’s camp alleged they thought things were going along smoothly but Tyson rejected all offers.
“We thought this was a done deal but it quickly fell apart when Tyson’s people declined all offers,” Holyfield’s manager, Kris Lawrence, said in a statement Monday, March 22. “We were negotiating in good faith all along and it appears we just ended up wasting our time.”
Azim said then despite it being a long shot, the fight could still happen if Holyfield’s camp agrees to a 50-50 split of revenue across the board, including pay-per-view sales and merchandise.
Now that a fight seemingly has been confirmed, fans are waiting in anticipation. However, one thing Tyson did make clear on his Instagram page is this and future fights they will not be with Triller, which promoted his fight with Jones.
“Just to be clear there is no Tyson with Triller fight,” Tyson wrote on Instagram last week, saying any reports to the contrary “is BS.” “I don’t know any Triller executives personally. I don’t have a deal with Triller or any head executive representing them for the next event. I am a partner in Legends Only League and my next event is with my league. I will never do another event or any business with Triller so anyone misrepresenting that they own the rights to my name or my next event isn’t true. I am not with or ever will be with Triller’s Fight Club.”