Mike Tyson’s infamous 1997 fight with Evander Holyfield where he bit Holyfield’s ear may have cast Tyson into a negative light, but it also resulted in jaw-dropping earnings of £24 million for the former boxer.
American former professional boxer Michael Gerard Tyson competed from 1985 to 2005. Tyson is regarded as one of the best heavyweight boxers of all time and was even given the nicknames “Iron Mike” and “Kid Dynamite” in his early career before becoming known as “The Baddest Man on the Planet” later. Few boxing athletes could claim to be more famous than Mike Tyson during his prime.
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Even though Tyson had achieved great popularity, one of his fights left him with a negative image. Evander Holyfield was the opponent in Tyson’s most notorious fight. Those who are familiar with the name may undoubtedly already know why the fight garnered unfavorable media attention.
A rematch between the two was scheduled for June 28, 1997, after Holyfield unexpectedly defeated Tyson in their first encounter and took home the WBA championship. Holyfield was having the better of the fight that night and had once more shown himself to be the superior of the two boxers in the ring. Tyson, however, bit Holyfield in the right ear during a clinch and spat out a chunk onto the mat, as reported by LadBible.
Although Tyson was fined for the bite, the bout was stopped only after he bit Holyfield’s other ear. Tyson was then disqualified. Other fighters have since attempted to emulate him and tried to take a bite out of their opponents, and this incident has become a moment the former boxer is remembered for.
Even though Tyson lost his boxing license, was disqualified, and paid a $3 million (£2.4 million) fine, in the long run, it wasn’t that bad for his financial future. As many people wanted to invest in his ear-biting repute, the boxer later boasted that he had “made $30 million (£24 million) since that happened from that bite.”
He revealed, “Do you know how important that was for people? White people wanting me to bite their ear. I was fined $3 million and I tripled that by just playing like I’m gonna bite ears and all this biting s**t.” Despite being able to profit from his ear-biting celebrity throughout his career, Tyson did declare bankruptcy in 2003. But he was able to move on, and his ear-biting incident which happened 20 years ago, has been a crucial part of his financial comeback.
Taking advantage of the infamous incident, Mike Tyson now offers edibles in the shape of ears as one of his products. Both Tyson and Holyfield teamed up last year to introduce the Holy Ears brand of edibles, which are mixed with HC and Delta-8 THC. A boxing bout between the duo, with the earnings going to charity, was even supposed to happen at one point, but it hasn’t happened yet.