No sooner had Mike Tyson announced his intention of returning to the ring to “do some exhibitions for charities and stuff,” did Evander Holyfield join his former rival and show his desire to do something similar. In fact, when that short video clip of Tyson, looking in great shape hitting the pads, went out, the world went crazy. All manner of fighters called out Tyson.
But now, in speaking exclusively with Sky Sports, Holyfield has said he would box a third fight with Tyson, “if we can work something out.” Tyson is 53, Holyfield is 57, yet there seems to be a chance the two living legends could meet in the ring again in some sort of capacity in the near future.
“I don’t know, you would have to ask him. I wouldn’t ask nobody to do anything they don’t want to do,” Holyfield said of a third bout with Tyson. “But it’s for charity. If we can work something out that works for everybody then it’s win-win-win.”
Holyfield, who last fought in 2011 when he defeated Brian Nielson, then spoke about the ear damage Tyson inflicted on him in their unforgettable 1997 rematch.
“When people look at me, I know they are looking at my ear,” Holyfield said. “People think I got the whole ear bit off! People don’t understand the relationship I have with Tyson. Tyson and I were both on the losing squad trying to make the Olympic team in 1984, that tells you how tough amateur boxing was in my day. When Tyson became heavyweight champion of the world, it made me realise that I could do it. Tyson and I had sparred and he was a tough guy even then, when he was 17 and I was 21. I appreciate that somebody went before me. Mike beat up the big guys. If he could do it, I could do it.”
So it seems to be a case of much mutual respect between the two former kings these days. Who knows what would happen if the two did get back in the ring together – some 23 years on from “The Bite Fight” – even if it was just an exhibition. There would likely be enough fan interest to make the bout a big deal, though. Holyfield always had Tyson’s number. Beating him twice and, the story goes, getting the better of it when they did spar, for just a few minutes back in the ’80s, Holyfield was never at all intimidated by Tyson the way so many other good fighters were.
Would you watch a third bout between the two greats?