On June 28, 1997, Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield were scheduled to slug it out. Boxing… with fists.
These two men were both fantastic fighters, but had very different backgrounds. (And only one had a speech impediment.)
Mike Tyson had a history of violent behavior, sexual abuse and wild tantrums. He spent three years in prison, divorced his wife, fired and sued his manager, was involved in multiple early-morning street brawls and replaced his promoter with that guy with the burnt looking hair – Don King.
Evander Holyfield was the exact opposite. He was a clean-living, religious ex-champion – excited to reenter the ring. Big mistake Holyfield. This Tyson guy is cray cray…
This was their second meeting in 1997. Their first match-up, in 1996, resulted in an 11-round TKO administered by Holyfield. Needless to say, Tyson was upset about this… and he’s kind of a psycho.
Here he is on Conan being insane… talking about his “noodle.”
The fight was scheduled as the best heavyweight match-up for Tyson (besides the actual number one contender, Lennox Lewis, who Tyson refused to schedule…) Holyfield was more prepared than his last fight, and even looked bigger. However, he would never be ready for the shocking moment now infamous in boxing history.
The fight began with Holyfield landing clean punches on Tyson for nearly two full rounds. Tyson flailed like he had forgotten all training and boxing science. He was getting angry. (Or as Mike would say, “ang-wee.”)
In the third round, with his eye cut and bleeding, Mike Tyson did the unthinkable. He got super hungry and bit Holyfield… on his ear! The fight was stopped and almost called off, however, Holyfield’s doctors urged the official to allow the fight to continue.
Unbelievably, Tyson bit Holyfield for a second time. The fight was ended and a giant brawl erupted in the ring. It was ridiculous – you have to see it for yourself.
Here is the complete fight.
Tyson spiraled into homelessness and drug addiction in the new millennium, but has bounced back. Since those ear-biting days, Tyson has transformed himself into a zen master of reinvention, and forgiveness. He has appeared in several movies, and has been the subject of multiple documentaries. Now he can be seen spending time with his 100+ pet pigeons, eating a delicious vegan diet and judging the horrible tattoo decisions of others.
Here’s to you Mike Tyson! We know how hard it is to quit eating meat… especially a cut as savory as the human ear!