Mike Tyson bit Evander Holyfield

4:26:00 PM Tkd kwan 0 Comments

25 years ago, during a world heavyweight title fight in 1997, Mike Tyson infamously bit Evander Holyfield, an event that became known as the 'Bite Fight'. At the time, Tyson was grappling with the realization that his self-proclaimed title as ‘The Baddest Man on the Planet’ was in critical jeopardy. His career, which had recently seen a revival following a shocking first career defeat to James ‘Buster’ Douglas and a period of imprisonment for rape, suffered a major setback after a loss to Holyfield in their first meeting in November 1996.

As he approached the rematch eight months later, the 30-year-old Tyson knew that failing to defeat Holyfield for the second time would permanently damage his fearsome reputation. The intense pressure he faced both within and outside the ring culminated in one of the most shocking events in sporting history, which only served to re-establish Tyson’s notoriety for all the wrong reasons.

Tyson's second coming had been relatively easy, with wins over Peter McNeely and Buster Mathis Jr., leading up to a third-round stoppage of Frank Bruno to reclaim the WBC title. As such, Tyson was the overwhelming favorite for his first fight with Holyfield, who had previously retired due to a heart condition and had serious concerns for his health during the build-up to the bout.
Holyfield responded with a masterful performance, prompting the need for a rematch due to his convincing victory in the first fight. From the outset of their second bout at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, it was clear that Holyfield was well-placed to potentially deal a terminal blow to Tyson's championship career once again.
Despite Holyfield's effective use of his head during the fight, which Tyson had complained about after their first meeting, Tyson grew increasingly frustrated and ended up biting Holyfield's ear, resulting in a temporary delay to the fight. The incident was followed by a chaotic and violent post-fight scene and led to Tyson having his boxing license revoked and facing a hefty fine. Tyson's return to the ring over a year later was marked by low-key wins until he was defeated by Lennox Lewis in June 2002.
On the other hand, Holyfield continued his boxing career and enjoyed a series of low-key victories, with his last fight at the age of 48 being in Denmark. Despite the infamous incident, Tyson and Holyfield eventually reconciled and became close friends, appearing together on the Oprah Winfrey Show in 2009 where they publicly made amends.
In retirement, Tyson worked to repair his tarnished reputation, but a quarter of a century later, his legacy is still defined by the so-called ‘Bite Fight’ that marred heavyweight boxing.