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Evander Holyfield calls for trilogy bout with Mike Tyson

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints
Evander Holyfield
Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Tyson’s return to boxing drew massive interest and now a fellow legend is looking for a piece of the pie.

This past Saturday, Tyson (50-6, 2 NC, 44 KOs) made a successful comeback in a pay-per-view exhibition boxing bout against Roy Jones Jr. at Staples Center in Los Angeles. The two fought to an eight-round draw and Tyson’s performance was met with positive reviews. Both legends spoke glowingly of the experience.

Now, longtime Tyson rival Evander Holyfield (44-10-2, 1 NC, 29 KOs) has announced his intentions to be Tyson’s next opponent. According to Holyfield, 58, it was actually his idea for Tyson’s return to be an exhibition and he was interested in being his first opponent since Tyson’s retirement in 2005.

“My side tried to make the fight happen and we got nothing but excuses,” Holyfield said in a press release Tuesday. “Now I can see why he wanted a tune-up fight before thinking about fighting me.”

Tyson, 54, has mentioned Holyfield’s name in interviews surrounding his bout with Jones, stating that it’s something he’d be interested in if there were fan demand, and then addressing Holyfield again on Saturday night.

“Maybe Evander needs to talk to me because every time my business associates talk to his business associates, it doesn’t turn out well,” Tyson said. “So I don’t know. If you could see what we made tonight, if these guys really care about the welfare of Evander they would have had this fight with Evander.

“Maybe we’ll do another but whoever he’s with who’s handling him is totally wrong.”

Tyson and Holyfield have fought twice professionally, with Holyfield first defeating Tyson by 11th-round TKO in a heavyweight title match in November 1996 and then winning again by disqualification in June 1997. Their second encounter is one of the most infamous in boxing history as the bout ended in the third round after Tyson bit a chunk of Holyfield’s ear off.

Holyfield believes that a third fight between him and Tyson would surpass the hype of the Tyson-Jones fight.

“Roy Jones was a good local opponent for Mike,” Holyfield said. “But a fight with me would be a global event and the only fight that anyone wants to see is a fight between us. There is absolutely no reason why we shouldn’t make it happen.”

Should he and Tyson face off again, it will be Holyfield’s first time competing since 2011.

Holyfield was an undisputed champion at both heavyweight and cruiserweight, while Tyson was the youngest boxer ever to win the heavyweight championship having done so at the age of 20. During the 1990s, Holyfield and Tyson were two of boxing’s biggest pay-per-view draws.

“No more excuses,” Holyfield said. “This is the fight that must happen for both our legacies. Saturday night you said you were ready to fight me, so sign the contract and get in the ring, Tyson. The world is waiting and it’s on you now. I’m ready.”

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