25 Years Ago, Evander Holyfield Shocks The World With TKO Over Mike Tyson

Evander Holyfield was the underdog.

No one was willing to side with Holyfield to beat Mike Tyson on November 9, 1996, who had been running through his opponents by way of knockout at that point. But Holyfield did it in the 11th round at 2:23; his victory would dub the fight – billed as “Finally!” — as Fight of The Year and Upset of the Year for 1996 by The Ring.

The win also made Holyfield a three-time heavyweight champion, claiming Tyson’s WBA world heavyweight belt.

Holyfield had been wanting to fight Tyson since the 1980s.

Tyson and Holyfield swung wildly at one another in the opening round. Fans would soon see that maybe Holyfield wasn’t going down as easily as many thought.

Holyfield caught Tyson with a left hand that seemed to freeze him in the second round. The “Real Deal” continued to stagger “Iron Mike” with body shots and blows to the head.

In the fifth round, Tyson would display his power with a right hand to Holyfield’s body and an uppercut to his chin, but Holyfield continued to come at him.

In the sixth round, Holyfield opened a cut above Tyson’s left eye with an unintentional head butt, followed by a left hand, causing the 16,325 crowd to chant for Holyfield.

The two would fight for five more rounds before referee Mitch Halpern stopped the battle in Round 11.

“I don’t remember that round,” Tyson said. “I got caught in something strange.”

Holyfield was named 1996 Fighter of the Year by The Ring and the Boxing Writers Association of America.

Their rematch would take place on June 28, 1997. It has since been cemented in history after Tyson bit Holyfield’s ear and was disqualified.

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