Watch: When Mike Tyson apologized to Evander Holyfield on Oprah Winfrey's show for biting his ear 

Evander Holyfield (left) and Mike Tyson (right)
Evander Holyfield (left) and Mike Tyson (right)
Prathik John
Modified 03 May 2021

Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield have been a part of an intense rivalry since their rise in the boxing world. While the two may be good friends now, their relationship was once nothing more than a bitter rivalry. Going up against each other twice during the span of their professional boxing careers, Holyfield got the better of Tyson on both occasions.

What happened between Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield?

While Holyfield ended Tyson in the eleventh round of the first fight, the second fight ended bizarrely. Frustrated about not being able to land significant punches during the fight, Mike Tyson resorted to biting Evander Holyfield in the ear. After being issued a warning, many believed that Tyson wouldn't go on to repeat the horrid act. But after finding himself in yet another clinch, Mike Tyson bit Holyfield's ear a second time. Appalled by the incident, referee Mitch Halpern immediately stopped the contest and ruled the fight in favor of Holyfield. While the decision was met with protest from Tyson, who accused his opponent of headbutting him, the match officials were having none of it. Instant mayhem gripped the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, with both camps throwing blows at each other.

Following the incident, the two heavyweights shared a bitter rivalry that lasted more than a decade. However, during an appearance on the Oprah Winfrey show in 2009, Mike Tyson issued a public apology to Evander Holyfield. The two guests then embraced each other, and it seemed as though they finally buried the hatchet.

"I watched him over the years, and he's become such a decorated fighter. I have great respect for him, and I wanted to beat him so bad. Even though people didn't give him the credit, I knew that [by] beating him I would have conquered a giant. This is a beautiful guy," Tyson said, holding Holyfield's arm. "I just want you to know it's just been a pleasure ... being acquainted with you."

To this day, Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield continue to be good friends. The possibility of an exhibition trilogy bout has been making the rounds since Tyson's return to boxing.

Do you anticipate a thrilling trilogy between the two legends? Make sure to leave us with your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below!

Published 03 May 2021
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