19 Oct 2017

The ear biting incident that shocked the sport of boxing and the world

?The Real Deal? Evander Holyfield - the only undisputed champion in boxing history to win both the cruiserweight and heavyweight divisions ? has explained the real reason why ?Iron? Mike Tyson bit his ear twice.
Speaking at the WBC convention in Baku, Azerbaijan, and elaborating on the side to journalists, Holyfield explained how Tyson?s biting of his ear was not the direct result of his opponent?s anger and instead, he said, was a psychological reaction to the traumatic hurt Tyson was feeling.

?Tyson didn?t want to be in the ring. He knew I was going to win. Psychologically he was hurting real bad. There was nothing he could do to stop the beating?so to end the fight ? and get the referee to stop it (by disqualification) ? he bit my ear and (the fight) was over.

Asserted Holyfield: ?He (Tyson) was really hurting (mentally) deep down.?
Holyfield said he had worked out Tyson?s bullying style. And, after beating Tyson once he was certain he would beat him a second time.
As soon as Tyson realized he could not win the second fight, Holyfield said Tyson took drastic action to finish the championship by biting him twice.
?He knew early (in the second fight) that he could not win. He just wanted to end it and he did it in a crazy way?by biting me like little kids do when they can?t get what they want.?
Along with being disqualified for biting Tyson had his boxing license suspended and fined $3 million.
Time, however, is a greater healer and both Tyson and Holyfield are friends today having resolved all the issues related to that notorious world title fights in 1996 when Tyson shocked the sport of boxing - and the world - by biting a chunk out of Holyfield?s ear.
In their first fight Holyfield stopped Tyson in the 11th round. And then, less than eight months later, Tyson was disqualified for biting Holyfield twice after going into the fight as the red-hot favorite.
The rivalry between Tyson and Holyfield was fueled early when Tyson (17) and Holyfield (20), as amateur boxers, had been hyped up by their respective trainers who theorized who would win ? and how. There were years of animosity before the two fierce rivals would eventually face each in the ring to determine who would be the champion of the world.
In their first encounter Tyson mostly threw one punch at a time. Holyfield blocked and, using his strength in the clinch, was able to force Tyson backwards.

?I was able to push back the bully when he got into close quarters. I knew then that he could not beat me.?

Holyfield found the way of beating Tyson by keeping his frenetic opponent on the back foot thereby minimizing his power and putting him off balance.
Holyfield was the first person since Muhammad Ali to win a heavyweight championship belt three times.
By Patrick Cusick

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