The Mike Tyson comeback tour could have a familiar foe.
Former archnemesis and two-time conqueror Evander Holyfield appears to be next in line to face Tyson in an exhibition match.
Tyson, 54, and Holyfield 58, have been in ongoing discussions for a third fight dating back to last year when Tyson returned from retirement to face Roy Jones Jr. in an eight-round exhibition. The event yielded around 1.6 million PPV buys, and $80 million for Triller.
“The Real Deal” said a potential meeting with Tyson should perform better than that.
“I think it will be a lot of money and a lot of millions. I think $100 million. The fight would be big because so many people want the fight,” Holyfield told Brian Custer on the Last Stand Podcast.
“We’re the top two guys people want to see. There’s no reason to do it with anybody else other than Tyson.
“The only thing that I hear people talking about [is] they want Tyson and myself. And you know, this is what the world wants to see. But you’re not in that situation, so you have to want to do it. So, I guess we have to come together and do it.”
When asked if the fight would take place in 2021, Holyfield responded, “I would say yes. I think it’s close. I think it’s something that we both want to do. I think it could happen.”
Former two-division champion Zab Judah is a Tyson confidant and has increasingly grown closer to the youngest heavyweight heavyweight champion of all time in recent months.
Judah must know something Holyfield doesn’t because he claims the trilogy is done.
“The fight is made, the fight is done, Mike Tyson versus Evander Holyfield part three, amazing,” Judah told Metro on February 7. “Everything about that fight interests me, you just got to look at one and two and there’s no doubt why you wouldn’t want to watch number three, no doubt. The fight is signed, sealed and delivered and Mike is training everyday and Evander is training everyday and both men are coming in there to do their job, they are not playing brother, there will be no playing. Mike Tyson versus Evander Holyfield part three, it’s going down, it’s going to be real. It’s going to be a great fight for a third time. It’s going to be in Dubai, that’s what I’m hearing. That’s what the advertisement said.”
Judah must be privy of contractual and marketing material that has escaped Holyfield.
Holyfield has already proved he’s the superior fighter against Tyson, scoring an 11th round TKO win in 1996 and a disqualification win in 1997 after Tyson bit a piece of his ear off following three frustrating rounds.
“In the ring I was getting ready to bite him back, I was going to bite him back in the face, on the cheek, but my trainer was saying keep your mind on the Lord because the prophet told us something was going to happen in there. I thought I was going to get hit with an elbow or a head butt, but never thought about the ear,” remembered Holyfield.
“Once I got into the locker room and some of the people started getting loud saying, “I can’t believe he did this!” I said we got to forgive him, and they said, “what you mean you got to forgive him?” I said did he bite you or did he bite me? I said we’re going to forgive him because when I prayed that’s what God said, you have to forgive.”
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com