Mike Tyson has reflected on being the most hated man in boxing following his infamous ‘bite fight’ against Evander Holyfield in 1997.
Tyson, 53, became the youngest heavyweight champion in boxing history when he knocked out Trevor Berbick in two rounds in 1986, but it was his rematch with Holyfield that made him truly notorious.
Former undisputed cruiserweight and heavyweight champion Holyfield, now 57, stopped Tyson in 11 rounds in November 1996 before the duo rematched seven months later at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
A frustrated Tyson latched on to Holyfield’s ear, biting off a chunk of the cartilage before being disqualified in the third round.
The incident led to a $3million fine and the loss of his boxing licence in the state of Nevada for over a year.
Tyson has admitted his regret about the incident.
“I’m really very grateful that Evander forgave me for this,” Tyson said on Undisputed Truth, now available On Demand. “What was I thinking about?
“He lost a piece of his ear, I lost a piece of money. A lot of money and I lost my licence.
“All I could say is that I snapped. I went through pure hell. I went from the 10th hated man on the planet, which I can handle, to numero uno.
“Then I was forced to read this contrived apology letter at the press conference for the Nevada State Athletic Commission. To make matters worse, I had to read it on my birthday, June 30th, 1997.
“But now I really am sorry. Me and Holyfield became friends.”
Tyson has recently posted videos of himself hitting the pads on social media, teasing a comeback for a charity fight.
Holyfield has responded with his own training clips, saying he would be open to a third fight.
“I don’t know, you would have to ask him!” Holyfield told Sky Sports.
“I wouldn’t ask nobody to do anything they don’t want to do. But it’s for charity. If we can work something out that works for everybody then it’s a win-win-win.”
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