Former heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield is “eyeing a third fight with Mike Tyson” after both all-time greats recently announced comebacks. Holyfield revealed his stunning plan to Boxing Scene’s Manouk Akopyan on Friday, though Holyfield insists Tyson vs. Holyfield 3 would only be a charity exhibition that would be choreographed for entertainment purposes only.
“I’ve already done what I wanted to do in my career, and have been the best that I could be. If it wasn’t for charity, I wouldn’t fight Tyson,” Holyfield said. “I don’t look at it as being a winner in this fight. This is a charity event helping our foundations. The thing is knowing what you’re doing it for.”
Holyfield wants to fight Tyson again for Unite4OurFight.org, a charity pledged to help first responders and their families as well as kids affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Holyfield and Tyson Have Long Been Retired
Holyfield (44-10-2, 29 KOs) hasn’t fought since defeating Brian Nielsen via 10th-round stoppage in 2011. He was boxing’s first undisputed cruiserweight champion and remains the only heavyweight champion in history to win at least a part of the world championship four times.
Meanwhile, Tyson (50-6, 44 KOs) hasn’t competed as a professional boxer since losing via sixth-round stoppage to Kevin McBride in 2005.
Both fighters are generally considered by boxing historians to be among the best heavyweight champions ever.
Holyfield Defeated Tyson Both Times During Rivalry
While Tyson’s impact on popular culture cannot be denied, Holyfield proved he was the better fighter in both of their encounters inside the ring.
Holyfield stopped Tyson in the 11th round in 1996 in one of the biggest upsets in boxing history. The two fought again a year later, and Tyson was disqualified after biting Holyfield’s ears in boxing’s infamous “Bite Fight”. The two men have since developed a bond that has led to the former rivals to making numerous appearances together.
Still, Holyfield remains confident he could handle himself against Tyson even today should things suddenly go awry during a charity event.
“I’m not afraid of [Tyson] or anything like that, as long as it works for both of us [financially],” Holyfield said. “I wouldn’t ask for him to do it if he didn’t want to. He’d have to ask me. It’s like being the bully, I already beat him twice.”
Charity Exhibitions Somewhat Common in Boxing
Holyfield, 57, from Atlanta, Georgia, and Tyson, 53, from Catskills, New York, might be throwing hands again soon, but don’t expect either of the former champs to be out for blood that day if they do.
While Tyson’s amazing mitt work went viral last week to show he’s still a legit force in the ring, and the proposed charity fight between two of boxing’s most popular heavyweight champions ever would draw a ton of interest, exhibitions like the one Holyfield suggests against Tyson are somewhat common in the sport.
They can be tons of fun, but they’re not legitimate competitions.