There have been many controversial world title fights in boxing history but arguably none more infamous than that fateful bout between Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield in 1997.
It was the second time the fighters had come together to contest the WBA title. Soon after the fight it was referred to as the “Bite Fight” and for good reason.
The fight had started relatively normally with both fighter taking rounds one and two to find their range but things were to take an unexpected turn for the worse.
In the third round, the fighters got into a clinch after a brief flurry. An enraged Tyson then inexplicably bit Holyfield, removing a chunk of his right ear before spitting it out.
Soon after, the fight was stopped and a ruckus ensued in the ring. It will be forever be remembered for many reasons, all of them negative.
For a while after, the relationship between the two fighters was understandably hostile and commentators and fans alike referred to the fight when looking back on Tyson's career using it to highlight the fall of a once great fighter.
Recently, however, the feelings between the two legends have warmed so much so that both fighters now look back on the incident with laughter instead of with tears.
The relationship between the two has improved so much that in 2013 the two appeared together in an advert for ESPN where an apologetic Tyson returned the ear to Holyfield, the ear in a jar of formaldehyde.
Satire at it’s best.
The two also appeared together in 2009 on the Oprah Winfrey show where they confirmed they had put the incident firmly behind them and appeared to have made amends.
In 2012 the two made light of the incident on Twitter while Holyfield was promoting his Real Deal BBQ sauce. Holyfield tweeted “My realdealbbqsauce.com will make you take a bite out of someone's ear! As Mike Tyson – Luv Ya Bro”
When the fighters met in 2013 at the promotional event for Holyfield's BBQ sauce brand, Tyson to his credit, told The Daily Mail “I just wanted to see Evander, man, I love Evander, I’m forever linked with him for the rest of my life”
Tyson is certainly a changed man. An exceptionally gifted fighter but he had his demons. He has now banished those demons and that can only be a good thing.
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