Mike Tyson Bites Off Evander Holyfield’s Ear – June 28, 1997 (This Day In Boxing History)
It was bloody, brutal and bizarre.
Twenty-five years ago, Mike Tyson lost to WBA heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield by disqualification after Tyson bit off a piece of Holyfield’s right ear. Ever since then, it has been cemented as one of the craziest moments in boxing history.
“He spit out his mouthpiece and bit me in the ear. It doesn’t show no courage to foul and get out of the fight. Fear causes people to do the easy thing, the quickest thing,” Holyfield said at the time.
“He butted me in the second round, and he looked at me and butted me again. No one deducted points. This is my career. What am I supposed to do? I’ve got children to raise. He kept butting me. Holyfield is not a tough warrior. He got a little cut on his ear and he quit. Holyfield didn’t want to fight, regardless of what he did,” Tyson said after the fight.
Holyfield had more control over the bout in the first two rounds. Tyson was rocked in the first round with a right hand and, in the second round, an exchange of punches caused a headbutt that opened a cut over Tyson’s right eye.
Tyson was losing entering the third round. But he was able to fight back as he caught Holyfield with right hands.
But the two got tangled up in the final minute of the round. Tyson bit a piece of Holyfield’s right ear off.
Holyfield stepped back, put his glove on his ear and seemed to be in pain.
The fight continued – Tyson had two points deducted – but when it resumed, Tyson bit Holyfield’s left ear. By the end of the round, the referee saw the mark and disqualified Tyson.
Holyfield vs Tyson II was named the second dirtiest fight of all time in the December 1997 issue of The Ring.