• July 25, 2024

The Unsettling Trophy: The Surprising Outcome of Evander Holyfield’s Ear, Separated by Mike Tyson 25 Years Ago

This June 28th marks the 25th anniversary of one of the most remarkable and memorable moments in the history of boxing and sports in general: Mike Tyson’s unconventional action towards Evander Holyfield during their rematch fight.

After Tyson’s loss to Buster Douglas on February 11, 1990 in Tokyo, Japan, he faced legal troubles in 1992 related to allegations of assault. He was released from prison in 1995, and in 1996, he suffered another professional boxing defeat when Evander Holyfield defeated him by knockout in 11 rounds on November 9th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

The rematch, scheduled for June 28, 1997, took place in the same setting. However, this time, a strong sense of anger and the desire for redemption consumed Mike Tyson.


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The renowned match, now known as “The Bite Fight,” unfolded similarly to their initial encounter. Holyfield showcased his superiority over a weakened Tyson, who couldn’t endure for long. However, an unprecedented incident occurred in the realm of boxing and sports when Tyson, in a moment of despair, resorted to an unexpected act – he bit a portion of his opponent’s ear.

During a clinch, Tyson, overcome by frustration, resorted to this unfortunate action. Holyfield, in disbelief, expressed his complaint to referee Mills Lane, who promptly examined the situation and made the surprising decision to disqualify Mike Tyson. The audience, unaware of what was unfolding, was taken aback by this turn of events.


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It was only when the arena screen displayed a slowed-down replay that the fans comprehended the entirety of the situation, revealing Tyson’s bite on Holyfield.

The consequences of this act were profound. Tyson carried the lasting impact of this incident, enduring a suspension that halted his boxing career until 1999. While Holyfield managed to retain the World Boxing Association title, he suffered the loss of a portion of his ear. This fight, now famously referred to as “The Bite Fight,” etched itself into the annals of boxing history.

Undoubtedly, this event will forever be ingrained in the collective memory of boxing enthusiasts—a chapter in Mike Tyson’s career that remains subject to criticism even to this day.


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But the question arises: what became of Holyfield’s segment of the ear? As per numerous media accounts, the ex-pugilist himself and his physical trainer at the time, Tim Hallmark, conveyed that it was misplaced while in the ambulance en route from the MGM to the hospital.

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