Who would win possible bout between Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield?

Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) /

Mike Tyson restored hope in an exhibition trilogy boxing bout with Evander Holyfield. If the fight gets signed, who would win? 

The fantastic boxing exhibition bout rumored between all-time greats Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield, has renewed hope after Tyson’s recent comments.

On Monday, March 22, Holyfield’s team sent out a press release stating that plans to fight between them were off.

“Representatives of Evander Holyfield expressed frustration after Mike Tyson’s representatives refused to accept a $25,000,000 guarantee from Team Holyfield to participate in Tyson v Holyfield 3 at the Hard Rock Stadium to kick off Memorial Day weekend,” read the press release from Swanson Communications.

“However, Team Tyson’s demands recently became untenable, and not what Mike Tyson had originally agreed on in direct conversations with Holyfield,” continued the press release.

Rumors have been floating around for a while that Tyson would stage another exhibition fight in May. Fans hoped that Holyfield would be Tyson’s opponent.

The 54-year-old Tyson fought Roy Jones Jr. to a draw in their exhibition match in November. The bout drew a lot of interest and pay-per-view buys. According to the Chicago Suntimes, Tyson vs. Jones generated over $1.6 million buys.

Tyson said after the fight that he would fight again. It was all supposed to be a springboard for Tyson’s Legends Only League.

Team Holyfield’s press release seemed to torpedo that idea, but Tyson’s words restored some faith that the fight could happen. While talking to Haute Living on Instagram, Tyson said the fight with Holyfield would happen in May.

“I could see that happening between me and Holyfield,” Tyson told Haute Living.

He later said that it was a matter of a “small fundamental difference” holding up the fight but that he thought it would get done.

A day after Evander Holyfield said Mike Tyson wouldn’t fight him, Tyson told Haute Living that the fight would get made.

Tyson (50-6, 44 KOs) might be the most fearsome knockout artist in boxing history. He still holds the record for the youngest boxer to win a share of the heavyweight title. He won the WBC title in 1986 by knocking out Trevor Berbick at the age of 20.

As good as Tyson was, he never beat Holyfield in their two meetings.

Holyfield (44-10-2, 29 KOs) knocked Tyson out in their first fight in 1996. He was getting the better of Tyson in their 1997 rematch, but Tyson grew frustrated and bit off part of Holyfield’s ear. Tyson was disqualified in round 3 after biting Holyfield again.

Tyson lost to Holyfield twice in the 90s, but how would he fair against Holyfield in May of 2021?

Tyson took his training seriously against Jones in November and dropped a lot of weight. He weighed in at his old fight weight of 220 pounds for the Jones fight. His lateral movement looked good, and he worked for all eight rounds, though they were two-minute rounds instead of the standard three.

Holyfield has been training for months. He, too, looks fit, but he looks a step slower than Tyson in training footage. Holyfield is four years older than Tyson and fought professionally for too long. He didn’t retire until 2011.

Holyfield fought 443 professional rounds compared to Tyson’s 215. Holyfield absorbed much more punishment over the years than Tyson. Tyson is likely the fresher fighter, and his reflexes and speed could be a beat faster than Holyfield’s.

If they fight in May, Tyson has the edge. A knockout is unlikely, but Tyson vs. Holyfield could be a fun, nostalgic scrap. We’ll see if Tyson’s words spell a May meeting between the two.

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