Evander Holyfield open to Mike Tyson rematch for charity

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Tyson against Holyfield in the infamous
Tyson against Holyfield in the infamous "Bite Fight" of 1997

FORMER world heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield would fight Mike Tyson again – if his old rival asks.

Holyfield, 57, who retired in 2014, won their two previous bouts in the 1990s, including the infamous ‘Bite Fight’ in 1997 when Tyson was disqualified.

Both have planned returns for charity and Holyfield said a three-round fight was possible “if he [Tyson] wants to”.

“If I ask him it’s almost like me being a bully saying I want to go against somebody I’ve beaten twice,” he added.

Holyfield had the last of his 57 professional bouts in 2011 when he recorded his 44th victory with a technical knockout against Denmark’s Brian Nielsen in Copenhagen.

Tyson, 53, who became the youngest world heavyweight champion when he won the title aged 20 in 1986, last fought professionally in 2005 when his 58th contest ended in his sixth defeat, against Irishman Kevin McBride.

Asked about the potential of a third fight with Tyson, Holyfield told BBC Radio 5 live: “I don’t want pressure on me that ‘you just want to fight Mike because you know you can beat him’.

“If he hits me I’m gonna hit you back, that’s what boxing is really about. I’m gonna be 58, he’ll be 54, you talk about being in good health and doing things the proper way that respects it.

“Anybody that I get in the ring with, if I’m in there with my brother, if he tag me I’m gonna tag him back. If you don’t want me to throw bombs you’d better not throw no bombs.”

Holyfield insisted inspiring young people was his motivation.

“I don’t have no problem with it. I’m doing it for my foundation to tell them what life is really about.

“When they see me box at 58 years old, they’re gonna go ‘wow, how did you do that?’ Taking care of yourself, listen to your momma, listen to your father.

“When you become an adult you don’t just say all that stuff my parents told me don’t work. The reason you made it this far is because of these things your parents told you. I had good parents and a good coach.

“My coach told me at the age of eight years old ‘you’re gonna be the best fighter that ever came out of the south’ and people laughed at him, but I was set when I made the Olympic team, then I became the undisputed cruiserweight champion, became the heavyweight champion of the world then got it again and again and again – he was right.”

BBCSport

– May 26, 2020 @ 09:55 GMT /

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