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Evander Holyfield reveals why he didn’t bite Mike Tyson back during infamous 1997 fight

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Mike Tyson was disqualified after biting Evander Holyfield for a second time (Picture: Getty)

Evander Holyfield admits he was desperate to get revenge on Mike Tyson during the pair’s infamous 1997 fight but decided against biting Iron Mike because he feared the sport of Boxing would never recover.

Tyson was looking to win back his WBA Championship in 1997 after Holyfield had upset the odds in the pair’s previous encounter in Las Vegas eight months earlier.

However, though Holyfield retained the title after the second fight, it’s best known for one of the most bizarre scenes in sports history after Tyson bit off a portion of the 57-year-old’s ear.

Amazingly, after a brief stoppage, the match continued but was Tyson was disqualified when he bit Holyfield for a second time later in the third round.

Tyson claimed it was in retaliation to an earlier ‘headbutt’ from Holyfield but the referee determined that it was accidental.

Tyson took a chunk out of Holyfield’s ear (Picture: Getty)

The bite meant Holyfield retained his belt but the Alabama-born fighter has revealed he was desperate to get revenge on Tyson by biting him back after the first stoppage but decided against retaliation due to how poorly it would have reflected on the sport.

‘He bit me on my ear and it was just…it was something that you never thought would happen,’ Holyfield told Chris Mannix.

‘Nobody ever thinks somebody will bite their ear. Even when they showed the tape and how strong your neck is…we kinda get close to each other and it’s like I leaned my ear into his mouth [laughter].

‘He bit my ear man! I remember just how mad and upset I was. I realised that I was going to bite him back.

‘But though a part of me knew I wanted to bite him back my corner guy, Tim Hallmark, his papa had told us in the match : ‘This guy’s going to do something to you’ and for me not to lose my cool and all that.

‘I told my trainer Tim Hallmark to remind me if that does happen. He kept telling me: ‘Keep your mind on the Lord’ but I wanted to bite him back.

Holyfield was examined but the fight continued after the first bite (Picture: Getty)

‘All of a sudden it came across my mind what my Grandmother said; ‘They always catch the person that do it the second time’ and so I decided not to bite him back and he bit me again!

‘Then we stop the fight and all that, but when all is said and done I did the right thing. I actually think it saved boxing.

‘I truly believe if I did what I wanted to do because I wanted to bite him right in the face like this [pints to cheek].

‘I told Mike that and he said ‘You really was?!’ I said: ‘I was!’ but I thought about it and then I thought about what would happen to the game of boxing, with the two best fighters biting each other, goring each other; the game might be over, we wouldn’t be talking about the game now.’

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Tyson was fined $3m from his $30m purse for the fight and he was banned from boxing for 18 months.

Despite their troubles at the time, the pair are now friends having put their history behind them and there’s now the tantalising prospect of a fight between the two later this year.

Holyfield has been training again with a view to fighting Tyson in an exhibition match and the prospect of the clash has got tongues wagging in the boxing world.

However, the 53-year-old has stressed any rematch would have to be a chairty bout and be limited to three rounds with no decisions.

‘I don’t want pressure on me that ‘You just want to fight Mike because you know you can beat him,’” Holyfield said.

‘If he hits me I’m gonna hit you back, that’s what boxing is really about. I’m gonna be 58, he’ll be 54, you talk about being in good health and doing things the proper way that respects it.

‘Anybody that I get in the ring with, if I’m in there with my brother, if he tag me I’m gonna tag him back. If you don’t want me to throw bombs you’d better not throw no bombs.’

MORE: Evander Holyfield reveals what happened when he first sparred with a 17-year-old Mike Tyson

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Mike Tyson hints he’s fighting a bigger name than Evander Holyfield

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The legendary heavyweight will announce his opponent later this week (Picture: Getty)

Mike Tyson has hinted he will face off against an even bigger name than Evander Holyfield in his much-anticipated comeback fight, with an official announcement due this week.

The 53-year-old heavyweight icon announced earlier this month that he was back training as he eyes a return to the boxing ring, showing off his impressive physique and scary speed on social media.

Old rival Holyfield, whose ear Tyson famously took a bite out of, also announced his own comeback shortly afterwards, later revealing that he was in talks with Iron Mike’s camp about a potential fight.

Holyfield won both his bouts against Tyson back in the 1990s (Picture: Getty)

However, Tyson has now distanced himself from taking on Holyfield and says people ‘won’t believe’ the opponent he has got lined up to take on instead.

Speaking to Lil Wayne on the rapper’s Young Money Radio show, Tyson said: ‘I’m feeling better than I’ve ever felt in my life. God has been merciful to me man.

‘I’m gonna get on with it, I’m looking good. Yo Wayne, I’m 230 [pounds] right now!

‘Man I’m just getting ready you know, I’m just getting ready to help some people out who are less fortunate than me. I’m gonna do this charity event.

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‘I’m going to take this money and help these homeless and we’re going to help these addicted brothers. Because I’ve been homeless and I’ve been addicted so I know the struggle. Not many people have survived like I did.’

Asked by Lil Wayne if Holyfield will be his opponent, Tyson continued: ‘Na, na we got many guys. Listen we’ve got so many guys that want to do this man.

‘We’re in calls, we’re doing business with guys right now. You’re not going to believe the names when the names come out. Some time this week we’ll have the contract done.

‘And whatever money we get, it’s going to somebody else. I’m not going to make any money – probably the company, my wife because she’s partners with me, she’ll make some probably. But my money is going [to charity].’

Another name mentioned as a possible opponent for Tyson is former heavyweight champ Shannon Briggs, who claimed the pair were working on a deal to fight at the Statue of Liberty on Independence Day.

MORE: Boxing fans fear for Evander Holyfield against Mike Tyson after behind-the-scenes training footage leaks

MORE: ‘I would love to see it!’ – Anthony Joshua reacts as Mike Tyson hints he’s ready to return to boxing

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Anthony Joshua

Anthony Joshua responds to Tyson Fury’s claim that he’ll ‘batter him’ in unification fight

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Anthony Joshua fired back at Tyson Fury (Picture: Getty)

Anthony Joshua insists Tyson Fury is ‘just another opponent’ after the Gypsy King said he would ‘batter’ Joshua in the pair’s unification fight.

Talks are underway for the duo to contend their five titles but there’s considerable obstacles to overcome as both fighters already have scheduled fights with Kubrat Pulev and Deontay Wilder, while any bout is likely to have to wait until a vaccine is found for Covid-19 to cash in on the record audience it would likely command.

Wilder wants around £8.1million in step-aside money to lose his chance of a rematch against Fury, while Pulev is reluctant to give up his mandatory challenge claim against Joshua for the IBF title.

Nevertheless, the fight that has everyone talking is the unification bout between Fury and Joshua that is on the horizon and the Gypsy King said last week that he would ‘batter’ the Englishman.

But Joshua has hit back at Fury by saying the Manchester-born fighter wouldn’t even represent the biggest fight of his career.

‘You know what? There will be even bigger [fights in my career] because I’m not going anywhere,’ Joshua said on Instagram Live.

‘I’m here to make history. I’m hungry, I’m fired up, Fury’s just another opponent at the end of the day.

‘It’s going to be big for everyone else but I’ve got to keep myself together and I look at Fury like he’s just another fighter.

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Despite those claims, Joshua insists he is looking forward to the fight and says he’s learned from his defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr.

‘Yeah in terms of the spectacle, the trash talk, two juggernauts coming together, I can’t wait,’ he continued.

‘I’ve tasted what being on top of that mountain tastes like, I’ve tasted what being knocked off tastes like and I’ve climbed back up.

‘Whoever steps in front of me now will know i’m not looking to go back down.

‘When i’m fighting Pulev or when the opportunity to fight Fury for the WBC for the they’re going to see what it’s like for a man to lose it all and won it back, a man that’s experienced those turbulences doesn’t want to go through that again.

MORE: ‘I would love to see it!’ – Anthony Joshua reacts as Mike Tyson hints he’s ready to return to boxing

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Evander Holyfield responds to Mike Tyson again with incredible training video featuring Wladimir Klitschko

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Evander Holyfield has revealed his most impressive boxing training montage to date (Instagram)

Evander Holyfield is making superb progress ahead of a potential fight with Mike Tyson judging by his latest training video featuring Wladimir Klitschko.

The 57-year-old announced earlier this month that he is planning a return to the ring and a potential exhibition bout against Tyson – who he has beaten twice in his profession career – has been touted.

Holyfield and Tyson have both released clips of their training sessions over the last four weeks and the two former heavyweight champions still look in excellent shape.

But on Friday, Holyfield dropped his best training montage to date as he showed impressive power and speed on the pads, while he still appears to have plenty of strength as he bench-pressed considerable weight before showing off a few pull-ups and dips with a heavy chain draped around his neck.

Eagle-eyed fans will also notice in the video that Holyfield has enlisted the help of Wladimir Klitschko and former light-heavyweight world champion Antonio Tarver.

In the video, Klitschko was briefly seen with a clipboard in his hand while Holyfield was skipping before the former undisputed heavyweight champion was involved in a powerful handshake with the 57-year-old.

Meanwhile, Tarver was the man holding the pads for Holyfield and ended the video by saying: ‘The real deal is back, baby’.

Holyfield also introduced the video with the hashtag ‘#teamholyfield’, which suggests Klitschko and Tarver could be making more appearances in the future.

Tyson, meanwhile, left fans stunned with his impressive physique in his latest video on Wednesday evening.

In a message to his Chinese fans on social media platform Weibo, the 53-year-old confirmed he was considering a return to boxing and said, ‘if I do, I’m going to fight with the spirit of Mao’.

When asked about a potential trilogy fight against Holyfield this week, Tyson told TMZ: ‘Listen I know don’t if me and Evander are going to get in the ring but it would be awesome for charity.

Wladimir Klitschko appears to be helping Evander Holyfield prepare for his return (Instagram)
Mike Tyson showed off his impressive physique in a video to fans this week (Weibo)

‘Can you imagine me and him going in the ring together as arch enemies, doing it for the humanity of people, for people less fortunate than ourselves. What would that be like?

‘That’s something that’s never been done by any entertainer or any sports figure in the history of sports.’

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