Evander Holyfield: Living legend of world heavyweight boxing and historic match against Mike Tyson

Evander Holyfield – mentioning this name, the memories of boxing fans suddenly come back, full and true.

Evander Holyfield is a legend of the heavyweight boxing industry in particular and the entire sports world in general, he is a true god in the ring. Moreover, when mentioning Holyfield, anyone from the past decade is filled with an eternal emotion encapsulated in the match temporarily called “The match of history”.

To later boxing fans, Holyfield may not be as famous as Mike Tyson or Mayweather, but he is still considered one of the greatest boxers in history . He possesses a very unique personality and conquered audiences decades ago with his outstanding talent on the stage. To this day, the boxers who faced him still cannot forget the pain Holyfield brought with each punch.


Evander Holyfield, legend among legends. Photo: ESPN

1. Biography

Evander Holyfield was born on October 19, 1962 in the state of Alabama, USA. He is the youngest child in a family of 9 brothers, a rare family with such a large number of children in the United States. Boxing seems to have been ingrained in Holyfield’s blood since he was very young, because every time he played with his peers, Holyfield often made them “knocked out” and many times Holyfield had to suffer. My mother’s whipping for these actions of bullying my friends. However, it was also from that initial strange hobby that Holyfield knew that his purpose in life was to become the greatest boxer in history, to “be famous in all five continents.”

When he was just 12 years old, Holyfield participated in amateur boxing. In his first five years, Holyfield won the Alabama state youth boxing championship. And then just one year later, the name Holyfield came closer to the American public when he successfully passed the qualifying round, defeating a series of experienced men, to have his first appearance at the World Cup. prestigious Olympics.

The biggest turning point in Holyfield’s career was when he turned 15, he excellently won the championship of the southeastern region of the United States, and was then voted the best American puncher of the year. . This is a very noble title in the boxing industry, because at that time America was still the country dominating the world boxing industry with famous black boxers.

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Evander Holyfield at the Olympics. Photo: ESPN

Holyfield’s natural talent made Holyfield’s career skyrocket and soon he was selected for the US national boxing team and became famous for winning a medal at the 1984 Olympics.

However, Holyfield’s peak career only began when he turned professional in the Cruiserweight weight class in 1985. He immediately established his name with his first championship belt a year later, after defeating Dwight Muhammad Qawi to win the WBA Cruiserweight title.

Next, he defeated Ricky Parkey and Carlos De Leon to win the IBF and WBC championships, becoming the absolute champion of the Cruiserweight division.

Frustrated by not meeting a worthy opponent in this weight class, Evander Holyfield decided to give up all his championship belts to move to compete in the heavyweight division. And it only took two years for Holyfield to have three WBA, WBC and IBF championship belts before experiencing the first defeat of his career and losing all these belts to Riddick Bowe, one of the great boxers. another member of the American heavyweight boxing community. However, exactly one year later, Holyfield paid this debt in Las Vegas and reclaimed the two WBA and IBF championship belts.

In the years that followed, Holyfield began to lose more and more and became stuck in a vicious cycle of defending the title, losing it, and then regaining it. Even so, he still stood in the ranks of the most feared boxers at that time. Also during this period, Holyfield had two matches of his life against “Iron” Mike Tyson.

2. Evander Holyfield vs. Mike Tyson: Sweat, blood and hatred

Although Mike Tyson’s class is undeniable, both times he faced Holyfield, Mike suffered bitter results.

In 1996, Holyfield knocked out Bobby in the 6th round. After this victory, Holyfield faced a big challenge from a very famous young boxer at that time, Mike Tyson.

As expected, the awaited special match between compatriots Holyfield and Mike Tyson took place extremely dramatic and exciting. Both boxers competed equally. After the 10th round, there was still no winner or loser. It was thought that the match would only be decided by score, but the surprise came in the 11th round. In a tense match, with a moment of ecstasy, Holyfield won. threw a powerful punch that knocked out Mike Tyson.

So angry about losing the match, Mike Tyson immediately asked for a rematch, and quickly, “Steel Mike” got what he wanted. The match took place on June 28, 1997 and the rest of this match is as they say, “historic”; and this time, the person who created history was not Holyfield but Mike Tyson. However, that history is not very glorious, just like Mike Tyson’s face in that match.

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Mike Tyson’s legendary “ear biting” for Evander Holyfield. Photo: SKY

The match lasted 3 rounds. During the climax, Mike Tyson jumped up and bit Holyfield’s ear and immediately had 2 points deducted. Doctors entered the field and after a while Holyfield announced he could continue. So the match continued amid the crazy screams of the audience. But Mike’s madness was not over, he continued to bite his opponent’s ear, and this time it was even more serious. Mike Tyson’s mouth was full of blood and he spit out a piece of Holyfield’s ear.

The audience at the arena screamed in horror, cursing Mike Tyson for his unsportsmanlike behavior. Holyfield’s ear was torn, causing him to be unable to continue playing and was taken to the hospital by medical staff immediately afterward.

Of course, after this condemnable behavior, Mike Tyson was immediately defeated. And to this day, people still call this the strangest match in world boxing, it is still an unforgettable memory and is mentioned forever later, some others call it This is a “stain” for Mike Tyson. In the memories of boxing fans, the moment Holyfield’s ear was bitten off is one of the things that lingers in the mind the longest.

3. The silent great man

After the crazy match with Mike Tyson, Holyfield showed signs that age began to greatly affect his playing ability. The American boxer has only won 2 out of 9 fights. He lost to Lennox Lewis, John Ruiz and then a series of three consecutive losses to Chris Byrd, James Toney and Larry Donald that forced Holyfield to stop competing for nearly two years.

After that, he returned and played until he was 50 years old. There are few heavyweight boxers in the world who can stay in the ring as long as Holyfield. Although he tried to hold on to the last bit of glory of his career, what would come must come, Holyfield officially said goodbye to the ring.

In May 2011, Holyfield fought Brian Nielsen. He won this match. After that, he tried to contact the Klitschko brothers to have one last match to express gratitude before retiring. But at the age of 50, no boxer wanted to fight him anymore.

According to Bernd Bonte, the Klitschko brothers’ manager, Vitali and Wladimir do not want to fight Holyfield. At the age of 50, Holyfield can hardly stand in the ring. Besides this reason, they did not want to fight him because of the respect the two brothers had for him, they wanted to preserve his last bit of dignity at the end of his career.

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Evander Holyfield has always had a strong position in the world of boxing. Photo: SHOWTIME

Bonte revealed that Holyfield is one of the idols of the Klitschko brothers and that is more important than the money that a match between Holyfield and Vitali or Wladimir can bring. Thus, the match with Nelson became the last time fans saw him in the ring. There was something incomplete about the way Holyfield said goodbye to his fans and left him with many regrets.

Not as loud as Mike Tyson or Mayweather, Holyfield won the hearts of fans in a very unique, very special way that is unmistakable. He is not shy about reporting foxes, he scores points in the hearts of fans with his seductive, fiery and passionate fighting style. During his peak years, although he did not have a physical advantage, Holyfield still made his opponents shudder with his thousand-pound punches and quick wins. Holyfield was considered a man with a stubborn, stubborn fighting style, his attacks were as strong as a storm and just like a warrior, he never knew what fear was.

His matches attracted half a billion viewers watching through pay television systems. Up to now, he is ranked 3rd in the top 4 boxers attracting the most television audiences in professional boxing history with total revenue from live television contracts of 14 matches amounting to 543 million USD. He is above Mayweather (540 million USD, 9 matches) and only behind Oscar De La Hoy (610.6 million USD, 18 matches) and Mike Tyson (545 million USD, 12 matches).

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