On This Day in 1996: Evander Holyfield shocks the world by knocking out Mike Tyson

Holyfield v Tyson II
Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson fought twice.

26 years ago today, Evander Holyfield shook up the world by knocking out Mike Tyson.

For the majority of the 90s, 'The Real Deal' and 'Iron Mike' were seen as the best heavyweights on the planet. However, they didn't meet in the ring for years. They were originally scheduled to face off in 1990, but due to Tyson's loss to Buster Douglas, it didn't happen.

Another scheduled encounter for 1991 was also canceled due to the former heavyweight champion going to prison. However, upon his release in 1995, there were very few matchups that fans wanted more than Tyson vs. Holyfield.

They got it the following year as the pay-per-view clash took place at the MGM Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Ahead of the fight, Tyson was a mind-bogglingly large 25-1 favorite against Holyfield. Luckily for the underdog, odds don't matter, fights do.

In trademark fashion for him, Mike Tyson came out firing early. While oddsmakers and the champion himself expected Evander Holyfield to fold, he didn't. After surviving the early onslaught, the challenger went to work.

Holyfield tired out Tyson using the clinch and his superior counter-punching. In round six, he knocked down the then-WBA heavyweight champion, in a sign of things to come.

Beyond that first knockdown, it was all Holyfield. He nearly got the stoppage in the final seconds of round ten, but instead finished the fight with a barrage of punches the following frame.

#OnThisDay - In 1996, Evander Holyfield defeated Mike Tyson by TKO in round 11 of 12 to win the WBA heavyweight title.

Did Evander Holyfield fight Mike Tyson again?

Evander Holyfield's knockout of Mike Tyson was iconic. Their rematch the following year was as well, but for many different reasons.

In the first contest, 'The Real Deal' headbutted 'Iron Mike' several times, even cutting him open. However, the referee deemed the illegal strikes accidental, which made Tyson furious.

In the rematch, the former champion came in angry and attributed his loss partially to illegal strikes. After taking a big headbutt in round two, Tyson lost his cool and gave fans one of the craziest moments in sports history.

In the third frame, Mike Tyson came out and bit Evander Holyfield. While it wasn't noticed by the referee at the time, he had taken a chunk out of his rival's ear. He was subsequently disqualified, and a post-fight brawl rang out.

Decades later, the scene is still insane and remains in the minds of many fans. For his part, Tyson is still profiting off the event, selling marijuana gummies in the shape of an ear earlier this year.

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Edited by micah.curtis85
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