Let bite-gones be bite-gones.
Mike Tyson will give the induction speech for Evander Holyfield when the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame enshrines the Real Deal next month. Iron Mike infamously bit both of Holyfield’s ears in their 1997 rematch in Las Vegas. The dirty tactics earned Tyson an indefinite ban from the Nevada State Athletic Commission. The body lifted the ban the following year, enabling Tyson to fight Frans Botha–a match in which the former champion employed numerous questionable arm-bar tactics–and Las Vegas to again withdraw from its human ATM in 1999.
Holyfield joins Roberto Duran, George Foreman, Joe Louis, Archie Moore, and other pugilists, journalists, promoters, and referees entering the two-year-old institution.
Holyfield won a bronze medal at the 1984 Olympic Games as a light heavyweight. He quickly made his mark in the professional ranks as a cruiserweight, defeating Dwight Muhammad Qawi one of the last great fifteen-round wars. Along with a past-his-peak Tyson, a rising Lennox Lewis, and a prime Riddick Bowe, Holyfield made the 1990s a heavyweight renaissance reminiscent of the 1970s. Holyfield defeated Buster Douglas for the heavyweight championship in 1990, defending the lineal title against the likes of former lineal champions George Foreman and Larry Holmes before winning one of his three brutal, career-defining fights against Riddick Bowe.
If boxing enthusiasts remember the Bowe trilogy more fondly, the public recalls the two battles with Tyson–particularly the curtailed second bout–more vividly, making Iron Mike’s induction speech all the more fitting.