Evander Holyfield Accuses Mike Tyson Of Rejecting All Offers For Trilogy
When Mike Tyson first made his announcement of a return to the ring, speculation had already arisen that his first opponent would be Evander Holyfield. However, the former heavyweight champion went on to face Roy Jones Jr., where the two fought to a draw. It seemed like the next match that would make sense for ‘Iron Mike’ would be a trilogy with ‘The Real Deal’.
But despite the best efforts of Holyfield’s team, it looks as though a trilogy fight may not materialise. According to a press release (via The Mac Life), Tyson and his team has refused $25 million for the fight, which was set to take place at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami.
“Representatives of Evander Holyfield expressed frustration after Mike Tyson’s representatives refused to accept a $25,000,000 guarantee from Team Holyfield to participate in Tyson v Holyfield 3 at the Hard Rock Stadium to kick off Memorial Day weekend,” read the press release. “The parties have been in intense negotiations for several months and Team Holyfield sincerely believed a deal was imminent, especially after the Hard Rock threw its support behind the project, and there were multiple other offers conveyed to Team Tyson. However, Team Tyson’s demands recently became untenable, and not what Mike Tyson had originally agreed on in direct conversations with Holyfield.
“The event was to occur at the beautiful Hard Rock Stadium, home of the Miami Dolphins NFL franchise, Super Bowl games, and many other world class sporting events and entertainment, and would have been the ideal setting for the trilogy finale of this great rivalry between two of the greatest legends in the history of boxing. While neither side has announced publicly that the fight is not going to happen, with negotiations at a standstill and the date rapidly approaching, it seems unlikely that this fight will occur as planned.”
“We Just Ended Up Wasting Our Time”
A third fight would’ve been the culmination of an unresolved rivalry, one that boxing fans were all waiting for. In their first meeting in 1996, ‘The Real Deal’ knocked out ‘Iron Mike’ in the 11th round. But the second fight the following year ended in bizarre fashion when Tyson bit off a piece of his rival’s ear, earning him a disqualification. Holyfield’s team believed that the trilogy was imminent before the declining of offers led to the fight falling apart.
“We thought this was a done deal but it quickly fell apart when Tyson’s people declined all offers,” said Kris Lawrence, Evander Holyfield’s manager. “We were negotiating in good faith all along and it appears we just ended up wasting our time.”
Only last month, Tyson’s close friend Zab Judah said that the trilogy fight had been ‘signed, sealed and delivered’.
Will we get to see Evander Holyfield vs Mike Tyson 3?