In many ways, Mike Tyson is one of the most storied heavyweight boxers in the history of the sport. At 20 years-old he became the youngest heavyweight champion of all-time, at just 21 the was the first man to unify the three major championship belts — the WBA, WBC and IBF — in the division. But despite all he accomplished, Tyson’s legacy may forever be The Bite.
On June 28th, 1997, Tyson entered the ring for rematch against Evander Holyfield in what was then the richest fight in boxing history. Just three rounds later, the fight was over after Tyson bit a chunk out of Holyfield’s ear and was disqualified. Eventually he was suspended for a year and fined $3 million for his actions. The moment Tyson took a chunk out of Holyfield’s ear lives on as one of the most ridiculous and fascinating sporting moments of all-time, but some of the details surrounding it may have been forgotten. So, 19 years later and on Tyson’s 50th birthday, let’s look back at some of events surrounding The Bite that may have been forgotten.
Holyfield had some dirty moments of his own
Just 20 seconds into the first round, Holyfield was warned by referee Mills Lane for a shot that was a touch low, which was the first of his offenses. Holyfield often held Tyson’s arms long after Lane demanded he release the clinch, led with his head so much it caused a cut on Tyson’s right eyebrow after a clash of heads, was warned several times for low blows and even blatantly shoved Tyson to the ropes as Lane was breaking them up in the second round, much to the crowd’s delight. Obviously, Tyson was the dirtier of the fighters that night, but he was not alone, and Ring Magazine eventually called the fight the second dirtiest fight of all-time.