Evander Holyfield is lamenting the fact that Mike Tyson is fighting Roy Jones on November 28 rather than participating in the third instalment of their rivalry.
Holyfield (44-10-2, 29 KOs & 1 NC) upset fellow heavyweight champion Tyson in 11 rounds in November 1996 before losing part of his ear but winning by third-round disqualification in their infamous ‘bite fight’ in June 1997.
‘The Real Deal’ believes Tyson missed a trick by facing Jones and that ‘Iron Mike’ could struggle with the four-weight champion in their eight-round exhibition fight in California later this month.
“It should’ve been me first, I believe,” Holyfield told The Sun. “And it’s kind of [muddied] the waters. My whole thing is if they fight first, I just don’t think there will be a second match with me – my third match with Mike. Because it doesn’t matter, because there won’t be anything left in Mike.
“I really think that between Mike and myself that I would like to be first, because at our ages you may only get a one shot and never get another shot. I’m 58, he’s 54! I have to be first not the second.”
“I don’t know why he said yes to [Jones] but life is about decisions you make. When I spoke with Mike about fighting him, he pretty much let me know he was doing something with someone else already.”
Yet Holyfield is expecting a competitive encounter on November 28 with both legends carrying distinct advantages that could tip the balance one way or the other.
“Roy Jones has got the faster hands, but Mike has the harder shots,” said Holyfield. “It will depend on how good of a condition the fighters are. If they go power to power, I know Mike Tyson has the advantage there and can beat him, but also Roy Jones has the speed and what would happen if he could catch Mike?
“So, either way there’s some advantages on both sides. Mike was more than a street fighter or boxer. Mike was clever. I’m one of the only guys that beat him and gave him a hard time. He was shorter than others but he was able to beat 6 ft 3ins, 6 ft 5ins guys.
“Mike was a student of the game of boxing. He is someone to a lot of people where you expect the unknown.For his size and weight, he fought hard and he was terrific.”
Main image: Heavyweight royalty Mike Tyson, Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield.