Mike Tyson : biography
On November 9, 1996, in Las Vegas, Nevada, Tyson faced Holyfield in a title bout dubbed "Finally." In a surprising turn of events, Holyfield, who was given virtually no chance to win by numerous commentators,Shetty, Sanjeev., , BBC Sports, 2001-12-26. Retrieved April 17, 2007. defeated Tyson by TKO when referee Mitch Halpern stopped the bout in round 11.Katsilometes, John., , Las Vegas Review-Journal, 1996-11-10. Retrieved April 18, 2007. Holyfield became the second person to win a heavyweight championship belt three times. Holyfield’s victory was marred by allegations from Tyson’s camp of Holyfield’s frequent headbutts, AP via Canoe.ca, 1997-06-26. Retrieved April 18, 2007. during the bout. Although the headbutts were ruled accidental by the referee, they would become a point of contention in the subsequent rematch., BBC Sports, 1999-10-04. Retrieved April 18, 2007.
Tyson vs. Holyfield II and aftermath
Tyson and Holyfield fought again on June 28, 1997. Originally, Halpern was supposed to be the referee, but after Tyson’s camp protested, Halpern stepped aside in favor of Mills Lane., AP via Slam! Boxing, June 29, 1997. Retrieved March 9, 2007. The highly anticipated rematch was dubbed The Sound and the Fury, and it was held at the Las Vegas MGM Grand Garden Arena, site of the first bout. It was a lucrative event, drawing even more attention than the first bout and grossing $100 million. Tyson received $30 million and Holyfield $35 million, the highest paid professional boxing purses until 2007., AP via Slam! Boxing, 1997-06-25. Retrieved March 9, 2007.Dahlberg, Tim. , AP via International Herald Tribune, May 9, 2007. Retrieved November 2, 2007. The fight was purchased by 1.99 million households, setting a pay-per-view buy rate record that stood until the May 5, 2007, De La Hoya-Mayweather boxing match.
Soon to become one of the most controversial events in modern sports,, ESPN.com. Retrieved March 9, 2007. the fight was stopped at the end of the third round, with Tyson disqualified, AP via Slam! Boxing, 1997-06-29. Retrieved March 9, 2007. for biting Holyfield on both ears. The first time Tyson bit him, the match was temporarily stopped. Referee Mills Lane deducted two points from Tyson and the fight resumed. However, after the match resumed, Tyson did it again; Tyson was disqualified and Holyfield won the match. One bite was severe enough to remove a piece of Holyfield’s right ear, which was found on the ring floor after the fight.Buffery, Steve., , The Toronto Sun via Slam! Boxing, June 29, 1997. Retrieved March 9, 2007. Tyson later stated that his actions were retaliation for Holyfield repeatedly headbutting him without penalty. In the confusion that followed the ending of the bout and announcement of the decision, a near riot erupted in the arena and several people were injured., AP via Slam! Boxing, June 29, 1997. Retrieved March 9, 2007.
Tyson’s former trainer, Teddy Atlas, had predicted that Tyson would be disqualified. "He planned this," Atlas said. "That’s the only reason he went through with this fight. This was a charade so he could get out and live with himself as long as in his world he would be known as savage and brutal. In his world, he was the man who attacked like an animal and people would say he was trying to annihilate Holyfield, trying to kill him, when nothing could be further from the truth.""Atlas Shrugged, He Knows What’s Eating Tyson", Michael Katz, New York Daily News, June 30, 1997
As a subsequent fallout from the incident, US$3 million was immediately withheld from Tyson’s $30-million purse by the Nevada state boxing commission (the most it could legally hold back at the time).Buffery, Steve., , The Toronto Sun via Slam! Boxing, 1997-06-29. Retrieved March 9, 2007. Two days after the fight, Tyson issued a statement,, AP via Slam! Boxing, July 30, 1997. Retrieved March 9, 2007. apologizing to Holyfield for his actions and asked not to be banned for life over the incident., AP via Slam! Boxing, July 30, 1997. Retrieved March 9, 2007. Tyson was roundly condemned in the news media but was not without defenders. Novelist and commentator Katherine Dunn wrote a column that criticized Holyfield’s sportsmanship in the controversial bout and charged the news media with being biased against Tyson.Dunn, Katherine. , PDXS via cyberboxingzone.com, July 9, 1997. Retrieved April 18, 2007.