Mike Tyson-Evander Holyfield 2: Looking back at the infamous ‘bite fight’ 25 years later

He was later reinstated. Tyson lost his boxing license and was disqualified from the bout. On June 28, 1997, during their highly anticipated rematch, a strange incident occurred in the third round when Mike Tyson bit off a portion of Evander Holyfield’s ear, making it one of the most bizarre moments in boxing history.

Several other fighters have subsequently surpassed a record, a record that Tyson has also surpassed. Tyson commenced his career with a remarkable achievement, surpassing Rocky Marciano’s record for the most consecutive victories by KO/TKO at the beginning of a career with 19 wins.

Under the tutelage of Cus D’Amato, Mike Tyson turned pro at the age of 18 and would go on to win his first world title in his 28th pro fight, making him the youngest heavyweight champion in history by defeating Trevor Berbick via TKO in the second round.

Tyson has been part of four of the largest six gates in Nevada heavyweight boxing history. He has been part of some of the biggest money-making fights in heavyweight boxing history in Nevada. The power of Mike “Iron” has rarely been seen since he brought it to the sport of boxing.

Holyfield was one of three boxers Tyson would encounter on multiple occasions – Donovan Ruddock and Frank Bruno were the other two. Tyson emerged victorious in both of his matches against Bruno and Ruddock, but he suffered defeat in both of his bouts against Holyfield. At that point in time, the Holyfield-Tyson II fight generated the highest revenue for pay-per-view (1.99 million purchases) and became the first event to surpass $100 million in earnings.

Timeline of the Holyfield vs. Tyson 2 Match

•Trevor Berbick against Mike Tyson•Frank Bruno versus Mike Tyson•James Tillis fought against Mike Tyson•Michael Spinks faced off against Mike Tyson•Michael Johnson challenged Mike Tyson•Steve Zouski encountered Mike Tyson•Mike Jameson went head to head with Mike Tyson•Larry Holmes squared off against Mike Tyson•Buster Douglas famously defeated Mike Tyson

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  • Despite the protest filed by the U.S. Team, it was of no use. The referee called a break after Barry hit Holyfield, and the referee ruled that Holyfield had hit Barry after the break. Holyfield was controversially disqualified in his semifinal bout against Kevin Barry of New Zealand in those games in Los Angeles. Tyson did not make it, but both Tyson and Holyfield competed for the Olympic team in 1984.

  • In 1990, Holyfield and Tyson reached an agreement to engage in combat, but those intentions were thwarted by Tyson’s defeat to Buster Douglas. It was one of the most astonishing surprises in the annals of sports.

  • In 1991, they once again came to a consensus to partake in a face-off, but Tyson’s conviction for sexual assault in 1992 indefinitely delayed the battle.

  • Tyson was freed from jail in 1995 and emerged victorious in his initial four bouts before encountering Holyfield in November 1996.

  • The first fight between the two was stopped in the 11th round, when Holyfield became the first fighter to win the heavyweight title three times, just like Muhammad Ali did.

  • The match was rescheduled for June 28 of that year due to Tyson sustaining an injury above his left eye during training. Holyfield vs. Tyson 2 was scheduled under the title “Sound and the Fury” for May 3, 1997.

  • The 1997 “Event of the Year” fight was dubbed by Ring Magazine.

  • “The Battle of Bites”

  • Despite the TKO defeat in the initial bout, Tyson was still the clear favorite at -200 (as per OddsShark).

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  • Tyson accumulated a career record of 34-1 (2 NC) in bouts that concluded in three rounds or fewer (out of his total of 56 career fights).

  • During the second round of their rematch, Lane Mills, the referee, declared it incidental when Tyson headbutted Holyfield once again. Tyson had previously complained about the numerous headbutts that were ruled incidental during their first fight.

  • Tyson emerged for the third round without his dental guard, but Lane instructed him to reinsert it.

  • Tyson incurred a $3 million penalty, equivalent to around 10% of the total amount he earned during that specific night.

  • This was the final bout of Mike Tyson’s career that was promoted by Don King.

  • Tyson in figures

  • 3: First-round knockouts in heavyweight championship bouts (only Joe Louis holds the record with six).

  • 8: The smallest number of punches thrown in a victorious title fight (against Michael Spinks and Carl Williams).

  • 19: Streak of KO/TKO wins to begin a career until he fought James Tillis in 1986 (Tyson won a 10th-round unanimous decision).

  • 22: First-round knockouts in his career, the second highest number among fighters who have achieved a championship.

  • 30: Tyson achieved the fastest non-title fight knockout of his career by defeating Marvis Frazier in just 30 seconds.

  • 44: Career knockouts, sharing the 11th spot all time with Larry Holmes among heavyweight champions.

  • 91: Seconds required by Tyson to defeat Michael Spinks, the eighth-quickest bout in the history of heavyweight championship.

  • Other notorious incidents of biting in sports

  • In 2022, Top Rank on ESPN will feature a match between Edgar Berlanga and Alexis Angulo. Berlanga, in his postfight interview on ESPN, mentioned, “I was on the verge of pulling off a Mike Tyson move on him. He was using his elbows.” “I wanted to avoid any injuries, but he continued to throw his elbows and push through.”

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  • The career of baseball player Olivo came to an end when an incident during a game with his teammate Guerrero led to cosmetic surgery for Guerrero. Eventually, Guerrero bit off a part of Olivo’s ear. Olivo was playing for the Isotopes Albuquerque, the Dodgers’ L.A. Team, in May 2014.

  • During the 1994 scrum, Sean Fitzpatrick, a player from New Zealand’s rugby team, experienced a lengthy suspension after injuring his ear. After the suspension, Le Roux Johan, a South African rugby player, expressed his thoughts by saying, “I feel like I should have probably torn it off for an 18-month suspension.”

  • In the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, Uruguay footballer Luis Suarez bit Giorgio Chiellini on his shoulder.

  • Possibly for a third occasion and a second, Lemieux bit his hand, prompting Lemieux to bite his hand a second and possibly for a third time, Tkachuk landed a satisfying little sucker punch. Afterward, Tkachuk proceeded to gesture to the referees indicating that Lemieux had indeed bitten him in the hand. On November 27, 2021, a scuffle broke out between Ottawa Senators forward Brady Tkachuk and Los Angeles Kings forward Brendan Lemieux.

  • Mike Ottinger, the wrestler from Central Michigan University, was disqualified in the third round of the consolation match for the 174-pound weight division in the NCAA 2014 championship, as he was Miller Mathew Navy’s opponent.

  • “During a playoff game on April 24, 1983, Wayne Rollins of the Atlanta Hawks bit Danny Ainge’s finger in a scrum, leading to a tetanus shot and stitches being needed. The next day, the headline in the Boston Herald read, “Tree Bites Man.”

  • ESPN Stats & Information provided information for this story.

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