“It’s Kind of Sad That We Both…”: Evander Holyfield Details Reason $30 Million Exhibition Fight Against Mike Tyson Never Happened

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Evander Holyfield, in an exclusive interview with VLAD TV, shared how he and Mike Tyson were once close to finalizing an exhibition match. But as it turned out, the money-spinner project unfortunately never came about. During the course of the discussion, the former heavyweight champion disclosed the reasons behind the collapse of the match while still being discussed.

Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. clashed for an eight-round exhibition match at the Staples Center on November 28, 2021. Roughly a year later, the 61-year-old Atmore, Alabama-born boxing legend, followed suit. He faced UFC legend Vitor Belfort at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida. However, the outcomes were not similar. While Tyson and Jones Jr. drew, Belfort knocked out Holyfield in the first round.

DJ VLAD asked Evander Holyfield about the Mike Tyson-Roy Jones Jr. exhibition. Whether he, like many, felt that the duo refrained from hurting each other. ‘The Real Deal’ replied, “Well yeah, the whole big thing in exhibition is that you know you going to fight somebody that y’all in agreement that you know we just going to play around.” Despite having chances, the interviewer pointed out how Mike Tyson decided against punishing Roy Jones Jr.

Then he spoke about an exhibition bout that was supposed to happen between Holyfield and Tyson. Significant discussions were going on to make it happen. However, despite all the best efforts, the fight came to naught. ‘The Real Deal’ said, “Look how the fact out the matter is, it’s kind of sad that we both gonna make a lot of money because we want to do this thing around it around covid time. We both gonna make a lot of money.

Then he added that a few individuals in Mike Tyson’s camp were not agreeable to the match. But Evander Holyfield remembered ‘Iron’ Mike’s words: “But what Tyson had said was the truth, coz Tyson told me, he said, look, let’s do a fifty/fifty deal…okay I so so what is the fifty/fifty deal? Both of us make the same much money, so we had somebody set it up, yeah, where it could be same much money, but the deal didn’t go through.

DJ VLAD inquired about the supposed purse split. Evander Holyfield shared that they both would have taken home a neat $30 million.

It was on November 9, 1996, roughly a year after he suffered his second defeat to Riddick Bowe, that Evander Holyfield went against Mike Tyson. The first bout for the WBA heavyweight belt ended in an eleventh-round technical knockout victory for Holyfield. Six months later, they met again for what was to be one of boxing history’s most infamous episodes.

During the course of the fight, Tyson chewed off a small portion of Holyfield’s right ear. As a result, the bout, now more commonly known as ‘The Bite Fight,’ was stopped. Later, Mike Tyson faced disqualification. Subsequently, ‘Iron’ Mike received a suspension from boxing that lasted until January 1999. Years later, the two eventually made up, became friends, and are now business partners as well.


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