Boxing

Mike Tyson’s shock move after $32m offer to fight Evander Holyfield

Mike Tyson has rejected a $32 million (AUD) offer for a trilogy fight against Evander Holyfield.

The heavyweight star turned down the chance to face Holyfield at the 65,000-capacity Hard Rock Stadium in Miami on May 29.

Tyson recently announced on his podcast he was returning to the ring at the end of May at the home of the NFL’s Miami Dolphins.

But his demands have reportedly scuppered any prospect of the long-awaited third fight against Holyfield taking place.

Holyfield’s manager Kris Lawrence said: “We thought this was a done deal but it quickly fell apart when Tyson’s people declined all offers.

“We were negotiating in good faith all along and it appears we just ended up wasting our time.”

The heavyweight legend made a shock return to the sport last year, fighting to a draw against Roy Jones Jr in an exhibition bout.

The success of the event — which reportedly generated $100 million in pay-per-view revenue — got Holyfield keen on getting a slice of the action and he told The Sun in January he was fully prepared to fight the man who bit off a chunk of his ear one more time.

“I’m still training for this,” Holyfield said. “I know it will be some day this deal will happen and I’m ready for him. I’m doing OK.”

Tyson was stunned by Holyfield in their first fight in 1996 after a dramatic defeat. The rematch a year later was infamously ended after Tyson was disqualified for biting the champion’s ear.

Tyson’s refusal to fight Holyfield may have something to do with a contract wrangle with Triller, the network which broadcast his fight against Jones.

Triller has stated it has exclusive rights to any Tyson fight in the next three years and wasn’t offered first and last refusal to promote the Holyfield trilogy bout.

Tyson has since posted a statement rejecting Triller’s claims.

“Just to be clear there is no Tyson with Triller fight,” Tyson said. “I don’t know any Triller executives personally. I don’t have a deal with Triller or any head executive representing them for the next event …

“I will never do another event or any business with Triller so anyone misrepresenting that they own the rights to my name or my next event isn’t true. I am not with or ever will be with Triller’s Fight Club.”

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