Evander Holyfield open to completing trilogy with Mike Tyson

‘If he hits me I’m going to hit back’: Evander Holyfield open to completing trilogy with Mike Tyson for charity

  • Evander Holyfield admitted he is ready to fight Mike Tyson for a third time 
  • Holyfield, 57, fought Tyson, 53, in two epic bouts and will fight again for charity
  • Tyson has shared numerous videos of himself back in training in the gym 

Former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield has said he is open to facing one-time rival Mike Tyson in a trilogy fight for charity on the condition that Tyson asks for the bout to be set up.

Tyson, 53, fought two epic bouts with Holyfield, 57, during their professional careers, including their controversial 1997 encounter in which Tyson bit off a chunk of Holyfield’s ear.

‘Iron Mike’ had released several training videos in recent weeks fuelling speculation he could be returning to the ring, while Holyfield announced his return for a charity bout on Instagram earlier this month.

Evander Holyfield (R) remains open to the prospect of fighting Mike Tyson (L) a third time

The pair first met in Las Vegas in November 1995 with Holyfield eventually winning by TKO

In the second fight, Tyson was disqualified for biting his opponent’s ear in horrific scenes

‘If I ask him it’s almost like me being a bully saying I want to go against somebody I’ve beaten twice,’ Holyfield told the BBC. ‘I don’t want pressure on me that “you just want to fight Mike because you know you can beat him”.

‘If he hits me I’m going to hit back. I’m going to be 58, he’ll be 54, you talk about being in good health and doing things the proper way that respects it. I don’t have no problem with it.’

Tyson, the first heavyweight to hold the WBA, WBC and IBF titles, retired after a loss to Kevin McBride in 2005, while Holyfield called time on his career nine years later.

If they do return, they will be following in the footsteps of Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao in coming out of retirement for an exhibition fight.

Tyson has taken to social media to demonstrate he still possesses frightening hand speed

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Fears for Evander Holyfield against Mike Tyson after training footage leaks

Boxing fans are fearful of Evander Holyfield’s chances of coming out of a fight against Mike Tyson unscathed after behind-the-scenes training footage showed him looking rather less slick than his latest comeback video made out.

Hot on the heels of old rival Tyson, the 57-year-old announced he was making his own comeback earlier this month and is eager to get back in the ring for a charity exhibition match – preferably against Iron Mike.

Holyfield looked in ridiculously good shape as he dropped a new training montage, doing dips with a heavy chain hanging around his neck and appearing lightning-quick on the pads.

However, behind-the-scenes clips of the promo show that many of the shots were set up, with Holyfield simply holding a loaded-up sled and then walking off without actually pushing it.

Holyfield also looked very slow in the unedited training footage, only putting together a few combos and appearing very laboured when doing so – though he still clearly has enormous power and his physique is remarkable for his age.

Fight fans had already mocked Holyfield for his first comeback video – which was reuploaded and seemingly sped up – and they have not been too kind about his latest effort.

‘He looks slow and stiff, especially compared to the recent clips of Tyson,’ wrote one boxing fan. ‘Holyfield is going to get worked over if they do fight.’

Behind-the-scenes clips from 0:28:


‘Holyfield’s always in shape but he’s too punch drunk to compete again. Bad idea,’ chimed in another fan, while someone else replied: ‘Mike is moving like he’s in his last 20’s. He’s going to beat Evander up!’

There was some thinly veiled praise of Holyfield, though, with one fan saying: ‘I agree this man has no business fighting Mike but can we at least appreciate that my guy is 57 years old training harder and looking better than most of the people watching this video.’

Holyfield’s video is in rather stark comparison to Tyson, who in a clip filmed on his mobile phone looked ferociously fast – and he was only messing around in a pair of jeans rather than training for real.

Tyson has opened the door to fighting Holyfield, telling TMZ: ‘Listen I don’t know if me and Evander are going to get in the ring but it would be awesome for charity.

‘Can you imagine me and him going in the ring together as arch enemies, doing it for the humanity of people, for people less fortunate than ourselves. What would that be like?

‘That’s something that’s never been done by any entertainer or any sports figure in the history of sports.’

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Evander Holyfield fires warning shot towards old rival Mike Tyson

Evander Holyfield is planning a gentle, no-knockout exhbition fight with his old rival Mike Tyson, but he warns: ‘If he hits me, I’m going to hit him back!’

  • Evander Holyfield remains open to an exhibition match with old foe Mike Tyson 
  • The 57-year-old has come out of retirement while Iron Mike has been hitting pads
  • The pair fought twice in the mid-90s, with Tyson biting Holyfield’s right ear
  • Holyfield has been inactive since 2011 but his competitive spirit remains strong

The champion with the altered ear isn’t listening. To those who feel Evander Holyfield should find safer pursuits at the age of 57, he has a straightforward answer.

‘They have their opinion and I have mine,’ he tells Sportsmail. ‘I prefer to follow mine.’

And so the man they called the Real Deal is looking to strike another. If he has his way, you suspect that will be with Mike Tyson, who has evidently lost none of his sense of timing. 

Evander Holyfield is targeting a fight with Mike Tyson after coming out of retirement aged 57

That relates as much to Tyson’s ability to hit pads cleanly at 53 as it does his decision to release workout videos in close proximity to those uploaded by Holyfield. Purely a coincidence, says Holyfield, and yet it is a fact that a third meeting between two old greats is being discussed by both sides.

Terming it a fight might be a stretch, given Holyfield claims he is only after a three-round exhibition in which there will be ‘no winners or losers or going for knockouts’ — conditions the four-time heavyweight champion of the world says must be upheld as he enters a 10th year since his last bout.

Whether Tyson, even the mellowed version of today, is capable of keeping to such an agreement might be another matter. But at the very least there are negotiations for a third contest between two men whose younger rivalry was in equal parts remarkable and appalling.

53-year-old former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson poses with his trainer during lockdown

Holyfield won their two fights in 1996 and 1997 and lost part of his right ear in his opponent’s mouth; Tyson was twice outclassed and landed a $3million fine. According to another heavyweight of yesteryear, Shannon Briggs, Tyson is spoken for and a fight agreed, but Holyfield gives the impression a deal can be done.

Holyfield says: ‘Mike and I talked once about this (the exhibition) and from that point on his people have spoken to my people. We are not at a point where we are at an agreement but there have been conversations.

‘There are some big people from different countries who would like for us to do it. My whole thing is, “Yes, if there is a way we can do it, then do it”. Me being me and Mike being who Mike is, I know it could be something big.

Holyfield evades Tyson’s swinging left hook during their heavyweight world title clash in 1997

‘If it could be worked out then there has to be an understanding that there can be none of this other stuff that happens (with Tyson). Ain’t nobody getting a decision or win or lose or going for knockouts. Exhibition.

‘I didn’t really want to get back in the ring because I always said when I stop I will stop. But an exhibition, that is different. I am not killing myself for nobody. I ain’t looking for knockouts and I ain’t going more than three, three-minute rounds. We do it in an appropriate way. But I am going to be in great shape. And if someone thinks they going to hit me, I don’t want them to think I ain’t going to hit them back. I don’t know if it will be Mike. If it don’t work then it weren’t meant to be.’

Holyfield and Tyson have long since reached a friendly place, to the extent that in 2013 they filmed a Foot Locker advert in which the latter rocked up on the former’s doorstep and reunited him with his missing chunk of ear.

‘People talk about the ear but people don’t know the relationship,’ Holyfield says. 

‘It is long. We came through from amateurs (together).’ 

For all the water under the bridge, there is still a competitive feeling towards a man with whom, along with Lennox Lewis, Holyfield shared a brilliant heavyweight era. 

Referring to Tyson’s recent videos, showing impressive movement 15 years since his own retirement, Holyfield says: ‘Mike was skilful, right back to when we first met. He can jump rope, hit speed bags, pads — but these things don’t hit him back. I have never been very good at hand pads and bags and tricks. But as my coach always said, “When people start getting hit they don’t know if they want to be there”. That is what boxing is really about.’

Tyson infamously bit Holyfield on the ear, leading to disqualification in their 1997 rematch

It remains to be seen what kind of fight Holyfield engages in. And time will tell if Tyson is involved. There is also an invitation to Lewis, against whom he drew once and then lost the rematch for the undisputed heavyweight title. ‘If Lennox and I can come together and do something, why not?’ Holyfield says.

In any configuration, amid any outcry that follows owing to Holyfield’s age, an exhibition against a top name from history would make significant money. But Holyfield, whose 57th and final fight was in 2011, is claiming this is not about finances.

It is no secret that Holyfield, who amassed a $300m fortune and once owned a 109-room mansion, lost the lot. A father of 11, including an unbeaten novice professional in Evan Holyfield, he has rebuilt to some extent and is reported to make personal appearances worth $100,000 a month these days. He says his driving force for this comeback is inspiring children.

‘It’s really for my foundation, working with under-privileged kids,’ he says. ‘I want the young people to know that at 57 I can do this because I didn’t make the mistakes others made. My momma always told me, “If you don’t pick up bad habits you don’t have to put them down”.’

Holyfield is unequivocal that this venture will not lead to a competitive return. ‘This is not me going against some 24-year-old,’ he says. ‘I don’t need that. But this is different. It will be fun. If it is against Mike, it definitely will be.’

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Holyfield hints at comeback on Twitter as Tyson steps up training

Evander Holyfield hints at boxing comeback with cryptic tweet after Mike Tyson steps up return to ring with fearsome training video sparking rumours pair could be set for trilogy 24 years after infamous ‘Bite Fight’

  • Evander Holyfield posted a picture with the word ‘comeback’ covering his face
  • Holyfield’s Twitter caption read: ‘a setback only paves the way for a comeback’ 
  • The 57-year-old made the post shortly after news of Mike Tyson’s own comeback
  • Tyson is preparing to fight in four-round charity bout to raise money for causes

Evander Holyfield has hinted he could be set for a shock return to the boxing ring after making a cryptic post on Twitter. 

The ‘Real Deal’ hasn’t fought since hanging up his gloves after beating the little known Danish fighter Brian Nelsen by technical knockout back in 2011.

At his peak, Holyfield was the undisputed heavyweight champion after moving up from cruiserweight, where he had also reigned supreme. 

Evander Holyfield has hinted he could be set for a shock return to boxing at the age of 57

Holyfield, 57, posted a cryptic pic on Twitter hinting he could be ready to lace them up again

Fans have speculated he could face former foe Mike Tyson in a trilogy fight for charity

Now 57, Holyfield’s best days are surely behind him but his Twitter post has sparked rumours he could be about to lace up the gloves again. 

He posted a picture on Monday which showed an image of him snarling, along with the word ‘comeback’ in capital letters over the top of it. 

He also wrote a teasing caption, which read: ‘A setback only paves the way for a comeback.’ 

The timing of Holyfield’s post is even more tantalising, just days after former foe Mike Tyson announced he will return for a four-round charity bout.

Holyfield’s post comes just days after Tyson revealed he’s in training ahead of a comeback

Tyson has revealed plans to compete in exhibition bouts to help raise money for charity 

Holyfield and Tyson fought twice in the 1990s, with the ‘Real Deal’ coming out on top

Tyson has posted a series of training videos displaying his fearsome power, and revealed he wants to fight again to raise money for special causes. 

While ‘Iron Mike’ hasn’t yet mentioned any potential opponents, fans are now wondering if Holyfield could be tempted to fight Tyson for a third time. 

The pair met twice in two famous encounters in the 1990s, which saw Holyfield knock out his rival in their first bout before their infamous second fight. 

Dubbed the ‘Bite Fight’, the brawl is best remembered for Tyson biting a chunk out of Holyfield’s ear during the contest.

Tyson was eventually disqualified after biting Holyfield on two separate occasions, to effectively end his career as an elite level heavyweight.

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