Evander Holyfield vs. Mike Tyson (2nd meeting)

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Holyfield-Tyson II.jpg

1997-06-28 : Mike Tyson 218 lbs lost to Evander Holyfield 218 lbs by DQ in round 3 of 12


  • Tyson rocked in the first round by a right. Early in the third round Tyson finally gains the initiative before losing control and being disqualified for twice biting Holyfield's ear. Tyson claimed he was retaliating for headbutting by Holyfield. Holyfield required plastic surgery to repair the ear. This incident was named the 1997 Ring Magazine Event of the Year.
  • The Nevada State Athletic Commission fined Tyson $3 million dollars and revoked his boxing license (which it reinstated in October 1998).
  • This was, at the time, the highest grossing fight in history in all categories. The U.S. domestic pay-per-view buys totaled more than 1.99 million for a total revenue in that category of $99,822,000 (this was a record until 2007's Oscar De La Hoya vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. sold 2.45 million pay-per-views). The domestic closed circuit revenue in the U.S. was $5,959,000 and was seen in 1,625 closed circuit locations. The foreign sales for all countries other than the U.S. was $21,240,000 which included sponsorships and was seen in 97 countries around the world. The ticket sales were $17,277,000 which included a paid attendance of 18,187 at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas, Nevada. The purses for Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield were $35 million and $40 million, respectively. All of these were records and all stand with the exception of the total domestic pay-per-view revenue and total ticket sales (live gate) revenue which were eclipsed by Lewis vs. Tyson in 2001 and De La Hoya vs. Mayweather Jr. in 2007. At that point in 1997, it was estimated by Showtime that Mike Tyson-based events had accounted for nearly 25% of all pay-per-view revenues since pay-per-view became popular in the 1980s, although most believe this percentage to be lower. It was the biggest promotion ever for Jay Larkin, Showtime's boxing executive producer for over twenty years (1984-2005).
  • Boxing promoter Don King enjoyed a record profit margin of over $23 million on the event. It also catapulted Don King to major shareholder status of the MGM Grand Hotel. Don King sold out his share of the MGM stock in September 1997 for $28 million dollars. It would be the last Mike Tyson fight ever promoted by Don King Productions. Mike Tyson subsequently sued Don King Productions and settled out of court in 2003 for $14 million, all of which was paid directly to the U.S. government for unpaid back taxes owed by Tyson.

Tysonholybite.jpg (AP photo/Mark Terrill) Holyfield ear.jpg

See Also