Evander Holyfield Gives His Thoughts On Mike Tyson Vs. Roy Jones Jr.

One of the biggest questions surrounding boxing over the last few months was who Mike Tyson was going to fight. The former champion expressed a desire to return to the ring for exhibition bouts. When Evander Holyfield announced his return as well, many expected the two to face off against one another.

It wasn’t meant to be, as Tyson ended up choosing Roy Jones Jr. as his opponent. The two will be competing on September 12 from inside the Dignity Health Sports Arena in California. Did a fight end up affecting a future bout between the rivals?

“Mike may have wanted another exhibition before fighting me,” Holyfield stated to Boxing Scene. “By him doing this, it may mess up a future one [against me]. We’d talked about it, but there was nothing solid on paper. We knew we wanted to do it first. When you do it second, people are going to judge how the first one is. Fans may not want to see it again once you stink up the place. It comes down to, ‘does he really want to fight me?’ Everybody wants to see me and him do it, so what is he doing?”

Both fighters competed against one another in the late ’90s. “The Real Deal” beat Tyson in November 1996 for the WBA Heavyweight Title. Holyfield was able to control the fight, beating Tyson via TKO. Tyson did not feel like himself and wasn’t able to get any sort of advantage in the later rounds. They fought one another in a rematch in 1997, with Holyfield winning via DQ. This bout was controversial due to Tyson biting the ear of Holyfield.

One of the first names on Holyfield’s comeback list was Mike Tyson. “Iron” Mike also expressed a desire to face Holyfield. However, Holyfield was one of many names that were gunning after Tyson. It appeared that Bob Sapp was going to be the one to face Tyson before Jones. Holyfield must now find a new opponent.

“I can’t speculate. Whatever happened has happened. I was only dealing with one person. I’ll call my guy and see what we choose to do,” Holyfield went on to say. “It’s not like [a Tyson bout] was a guarantee. People do what they choose to do. I don’t have a problem with people choosing and making a decision based on what direction they want to go in. That’s fine with me. We just have to move on. I have no problems. We’re OK with it. I’m not upset. There is no reason to be upset. I wish him well.”

Holyfield stated he will be fighting for #Unite4OurFight, an organization that helps overcome challenges and adversity for children and first responders. It is a huge part of The Evander Holyfield Foundation. Fighters that are still on his radar include Riddick Bowe, or any fighter his age.

A future fight with Tyson could eventually happen, but for now, Holyfield is focused on the present.

“I’ve been training [before they reached out about a potential Tyson fight]. I’m not training because of Mike,” Holyfield stated. “I train because that’s what I do. I try to maintain good health and physique. I’m not going to burn myself out thinking ‘when is it going to happen?’”

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