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Mike Tyson allegedly declines $25 million guarantee for trilogy fight with Evander Holyfield

WBA Heavyweight Title Fight - Evander Holyfield v Mike Tyson Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

It appears that the Mike Tyson vs. Evander Holyfield trilogy fight will not happen after all.

According to a release from Holyfield’s team, negotiations were ongoing to book the third meeting between former heavyweight champions for a May 29 event at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami. The release states that Tyson’s representatives declined a $25 million guarantee to face Holyfield.

The parties have been reportedly in “intense negotiations for several months,” with Holyfield’s side believing a deal was “imminent.” However, according to Team Holyfield, Tyson’s demands became untenable and a deal could not be reached.

“We thought this was a done deal but it quickly fell apart when Tyson’s people declined all offers,” Holyfield’s manager Kris Lawrence stated. “We were negotiating in good faith all along and it appears we just ended up wasting our time.”

Holyfield, a former four-time heavyweight champion, first competed against Tyson in November 1996, earning an 11th round TKO win. The rematch took place seven months later in June 1997 and one of the more unfortunate moments in boxing history took place. In the third round, Tyson bit Holyfield in the ear and referee Mills Lane took away two points after initially wanting to disqualify Tyson. When the fight continued, Tyson bit Holyfield again, this time on his other ear, tearing off a small piece on the top of Holyfield’s ear in the process which led to the DQ win for Holyfield.

The relationship between the two has improved over the years, but after Tyson had an exhibition bout with Roy Jones Jr. in November, Holyfield felt the timing was perfect for a trilogy bout. Reports had surfaced in February that the trilogy fight had been signed, but it turned out to be false.

Neither fighter had publicly discussed the potential Memorial Day weekend date, but as of this moment, Holyfield’s side states that negotiations are at a standstill and that “it seems unlikely” the fight will get done.

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