The legendary heavyweight fighters Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield recently announced that they were making a comeback to the sport, and this week, representatives from both camps are saying that they could be setting up a match to fight one another.
Last week, Tyson uploaded a video to his Instagram showing that he was in training and planning to get back into the ring. Shortly after, Holyfield quickly posted a similar message online. This pairing is one of the most legendary matchups in the history of boxing because during one of their fights, Tyson bit off a part of Holyfield’s ear. The incident became a punchline of jokes for many years, and though Tyson still continued to fight for a while, that event was considered the beginning of the end of his career.
Holyfield is a bit less rusty, having fought as recently as 2011, but both fighters are in their fifties, which is an extreme rarity in their sport.
Holyfield told The 3 Point Conversion, ‘Well the thing is, he was doing something and I was doing something. ‘When I told people about it, they saw me working out and they kind of put two and two together, “They must be coming together to do this like this”. ‘But the fact of the matter is, I didn’t mind if we do do something like this. His people have been talking to my people and we haven’t yet got a solid deal together but it’s coming that way. If it happens, then that’s no problem.’
Tyson entering the ring again is especially surprising considering that he has repeatedly said that he would never fight again, and that he stopped training. As recently as last year, Tyson told Joe Rogan that he did not like the person that he was when he was fighting, and that he needs to channel a violent side of himself in order to fight. Tyson told Rogan that he did not trust that violent side of himself, and did not even trust himself to train, but he must have had some kind of change of heart in recent years.
Holyfield was forced to retire in 1994 upon medical advice, only to return a year later with a clean bill of health. In 1996 he defeated Mike Tyson and reclaimed the WBA title, in what was named by The Ring magazine as the Fight of the Year and Upset of the Year. This made Holyfield the first boxer since Muhammad Ali to win a world heavyweight title three times. Holyfield won a 1997 rematch against Tyson, which was the infamous event where Holyfield lost a piece of his ear.
Holyfield retired in 2014, and is ranked number 77 on The Ring’s list of 100 greatest punchers of all time. Tyson retired from professional boxing in 2006, after being knocked out in consecutive matches against journeymen Danny Williams and Kevin McBride. He was ranked No. 16 on The Ring’s list of 100 greatest punchers of all time, and No. 1 in the ESPN.com list of “The Hardest Hitters in Heavyweight History”.