Evander Holyfield has given some insight to his relationship with Mike Tyson, insisting he has always regarded his two-time opponent as a friend.
Holyfield revealed he is often befuddled at the surprise expressed when he and ‘Iron Mike’ get along well in public and insists he let bygones be bygones a long time ago.
Speaking to iFL TV, Holyfield said:
“Mike and I, we come together and everybody’s just so happy. Mike and I have always have been friends, I don’t know why boxing makes it out like you’ve got to be enemies.”
“I’ve never been his enemy, he’s always been good to me. Things happen, when I got in fights and they were bigger than me, if I couldn’t get them off me the first thing I’d do would be to bite somebody to get them off of me!”
“I didn’t get offended, it’s just a part of life – these things happen.”
‘The Real Deal’ and ‘Iron Mike’ were two key players in the 1990s heavyweight golden era and locked horns in 1996 and 1997, with the second fight ending as a result of the most notorious incidents in the history of the sport.
After Holyfield emerged victorious in their first meeting via 11th round stoppage, the early indicators were that the rematch would be heading to a similar conclusion as Holyfield pushed Tyson back through the introductory stanzas and landed numerous hurtful shots.
Then in the third, a moment of madness befell Tyson that, for all the wrong reasons, would go down in the echelons of sporting history.
Aggrieved by Holyfield’s use of the head which had led to a cut on his right eye, Tyson sunk his teeth into the defending champion – twice.
With a chunk of Holyfield’s right ear somewhere on the ring canvas and blood pouring from the bewildered Alabama man, referee Mills Lane disqualified Tyson at the conclusion of the round.
A quarter of a century on, the pair are now business partners as well as good friends, launching their own brand cannabis edibles – which are in the shape of an ear.