Reports have emerged that claim ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson has turned down a £21.5 million offer to face off against Evander Holyfield in what would be the final bout in the trilogy between the two boxing legends.
The fight had been expected to take place at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, the 65,000-capacity venue that is home to the Miami Dolphins, and was the scene of the 2021 Super Bowl back in February.
When asked about the scuppered fight, Holyfield’s manager Kris Lawrence responded, as per The Sun: “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.”
This recent news may come as a surprise to boxing fans, especially after a cash-light Tyson returned to the ring to face off against Roy Jones Jr last year. The former heavyweight champion is thought to have made somewhere between $1-10 million dollars from the exhibition fight against Jones Jr, but seems to have upped his demands for a trilogy fight vs Holyfield, which has essentially ended the chances of the bout, at least for the time being.
Holyfield Wants The Fight
Tyson’s would-be opponent Holyfield was certainly in favour of the third fight and had been in conversation with Tyson’s camp in a bid to get a deal across the line between the two men.
The 58-year-old spoke to Sun Sport and said: “What I can tell you is that my team is talking to Mike’s management, so I’m waiting for a decision. They are communicating right now. The thing is I’m still training for this, I know it will be someday this deal will happen and I’m ready for him. I’m doing OK.”
If the two legends can agree on the financials, a trilogy fight would be one for the ages and is something fight fans have wanted to see for pushing on towards a quarter of a century.
The History of Tyson vs Holyfield
Tyson was soundly beaten by Holyfield in the first contest in 1996. An athletically superior Holyfield came through Tyson’s rough stuff at the beginning of the contest and, after battering a tired and unsteady looking Tyson with a series of straights and hooks in rounds 10 and 11, claimed a TKO victory via the referee’s stoppage.
In the rematch that took place a year later, Tyson was disqualified for biting off a part of Holyfield’s ear, a stomach-churning moment that lives on in boxing infamy.
Despite all his great success in the 90s/00s, Evander ‘Real Deal’ Holyfield has lost a small fortune in recent years and reports suggest is now down to his last $1 million, which likely explains why he is so eager to get a fight contract drawn up.
Despite losing the first two bouts, Tyson is most probably aware of his old foe’s financials and is happy to sit and wait for a more lucrative offer to emerge.