The fight is on! Tyson claims Holyfield exhibition will happen on May 29

By Sports Desk March 24, 2021

Mike Tyson has declared he will meet fellow former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield for a third time on May 29.

The two boxing icons, now aged 54 and 58 respectively, have frequently floated the prospect of a trilogy encounter since footage was published of Tyson training with impressive ferocity last year.

Tyson did indeed return to the ring in 2020, more than 15 years after his last professional outing, and boxed an exhibition against fellow great Roy Jones Jr.

Holyfield's representatives told The Athletic this week that Tyson's team had "rejected all offers" and they "ended up wasting our time" during negotiations.

But, during an Instagram Live interview with Haute Living, Tyson said the bout was "on" this Memorial Weekend.

"I just want everybody to know the fight is on with me and Holyfield," he said, with Hard Rock Stadium in Miami having been mooted as a potential venue.

"Holyfield is a humble man, I know that, and he's a man of God. But I'm God's man and I'm going to be successful, May 29."

Tyson and Holyfield's 1990s rivalry at the top of the heavyweight division has long gone down in sporting ignominy but remains a topic of grim fascination due to the abrupt and sudden ending to their second encounter in Las Vegas in 1997.

Having complained to referee Mills Lane about Holyfield using headbutts, Tyson bit a chunk out of the top of his opponent's right ear during a clinch in round three and spat it on to the canvas.

A delay ensued as Holyfield received medical treatment and Lane considered disqualifying Tyson before deciding against that course of action when ringside doctor said the reigning WBA champion was fit to continue, opting merely to deduct two points from the challenger.

However, Tyson then bit Holyfield's left ear when the action resumed and, when this became apparent at the end of round three, the fight was stopped.

That such a fiasco remains the defining event of their rivalry in the public imagination does Holyfield a disservice, such was the comprehensive and against-the-odds nature of his win in their initial meeting the previous November.

The former unified world cruiserweight champion had to bide his time for a shot at the self-styled 'Baddest Man on the Planet', with a planned meeting in 1990 thrown off course by Tyson's shock loss of his WBC, WBA and IBF belts to James 'Buster' Douglas.

Holyfield stopped Douglas inside three rounds of his first defence but losses to Michael Moorer and in two of his three thrilling bouts with Riddick Bowe, along with a brief retirement due to a heart complaint, gave the impression of boxing's only over four-time heavyweight champion being damaged goods by the time he got a crack at Tyson on the other side of the latter's prison sentence for rape.

But a then 34-year-old Holyfield came through some heavy weather early on to dominate Tyson and batter his compatriot to a stunning 11th-round defeat, setting the stage for a rematch that went down in history for all the wrong reasons.

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    Tyson Fury's WBC heavyweight title defence against Dillian Whyte will finally take place after Frank Warren's Queensbury Promotions won the purse bid to stage the fight.

    Warren's record bid of £31million gazumped the £24m being offered by Whyte's Matchroom promoters, giving Fury's team control of the all-British showdown in a fight that must take place by April 24.

    Fury will now pocket £24m to Whyte's £6m, though the latter may earn a larger share should his appeal to the WBC for a larger proportion be successful.

    A tweet from WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman read: "This is the coin flipped to determine the opening of the bids $32,222,222 by @MatchroomBoxing $41,025,000 by Queensberry Promotions. This is the biggest purse bid in the history of boxing. Congratulations #FuryWhyte @WBCBoxing Heavyweight championship @Tyson_Fury @DillianWhyte."

    Warren added via a statement: "Queensberry and Top Rank are delighted that WBC and lineal world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury will defend his titles against Dillian Whyte following today's purse bids.

    "A venue and date for the fight will be announced in due course."

    Whyte has long since been the WBC's top-ranked contender but has had to remain patient for his first crack at a world title.

    Fury's camp had been negotiating with Anthony Joshua to take a step-aside payment for his planned rematch with unified world champion Oleksandr Usyk in order to fight the Ukrainian in an undisputed heavyweight championship fight.

    However, those talks broke down this week meaning Fury will instead focus on mandatory challenger Whyte, while Joshua is now expected to get his shot at winning back the WBA Super, IBF and WBO straps from Usyk. 

    Each of Fury's past five fights have taken place in the United States, with three of those coming against Deontay Wilder who he displaced as WBC champion.

    Cardiff's Principality Stadium and the Manchester Arena are among the venues tipped to host the fight, with Fury writing on Twitter: "BIG GK IS COMING HOME! UK BABY!"

  • Fury appears to confirm Whyte fight after Hearn claims he doesn't want Usyk bout Fury appears to confirm Whyte fight after Hearn claims he doesn't want Usyk bout

    Tyson Fury has seemingly confirmed Dillian Whyte will be his next opponent after Eddie Hearn claimed the WBC heavyweight champion does not want to face Oleksandr Usyk.

    Whyte is the mandatory challenger for Fury's world title, but the WBC this week granted a 48-hour extension for the two parties to negotiate a deal for a fight.

    Purse bids for that all-British bout are now set to go in on Friday.

    It was reported by The Telegraph that Anthony Joshua was prepared to step aside from a rematch with Usyk in order for Fury to do battle with the WBA (Super), IBF and WBO champion in a unification fight.

    Joshua, who was dethroned by the Ukrainian last September, dismissed those claims and Fury appeared to clear up all the uncertainty on Thursday.

    The 33-year-old tweeted: "Who else can't wait for the fight. The best of Britain."

    Fury had earlier mocked Joshua and his promoter Hearn for supposedly rejecting a huge offer to step aside from a rematch with Usyk.

    "Had to do this video. Eddie Hearn and Anthony Joshua have to be the worst damn businessmen in history! Today they lost $90m, goddamn sons of b****es, crazy!" he posted on social media.

    Yet Hearn, also Whyte's promoter, says Fury is not prepared to fight Usyk next.

    "There are four people in this mix – Tyson Fury, Oleksandr Usyk, Dillian Whyte, Anthony Joshua – and everybody has to be on board with the same proposal," Hearn told BBC 5 Live.

    "Ultimately it's Tyson Fury who doesn't want to fight Oleksandr Usyk next in an undisputed fight, he wants to have an interim fight in March. There's no conversation to be had.

    "As we stand here right now, Dillian Whyte against Tyson Fury will go to purse bids tomorrow [Friday] in Mexico City."

    Hearn, however, knows nothing is set in stone.

    "They're never over, up until those envelopes are open," he added.

    "But there's no real negotiations for Fury against Whyte outside of purse bids. It would take Tyson Fury probably to say, 'Yeah, okay, look, maybe I'll fight Usyk', but you never know what he's going to do.

    "Right now this morning he wants to fight Dillian Whyte. He hasn't really mentioned that before but right now that's what we're doing. We'll be ready to bid tomorrow."

  • Fury tells Whyte to 'step up and take your beating' after negotiation deadline is extended Fury tells Whyte to 'step up and take your beating' after negotiation deadline is extended

    Tyson Fury has told Dillian Whyte to "step up and take your beating" after an extension was granted for the two fighters' camps to agree on the terms of a bout.

    Fury and Whyte were permitted an additional 48 hours by the World Boxing Council (WBC) to negotiate their fight before purse bids are made.

    The deadline had been 6pm on Wednesday but has now been pushed back two days, though the WBC confirmed that it would be the final extension.

    A statement posted on the WBC's website said: "The World Boxing Council has received once again requests from the teams of Tyson Fury and Dillian Whyte, to extend the period of free negotiations.

    "The WBC has granted this final extension and If there is no agreement, a purse bid will be held this coming Friday, January 28."

    Whyte is the mandatory challenger for Fury's WBC heavyweight title but is currently in arbitration with the governing body.

    After the announcement of the extension, Fury took to Twitter to say: "Time to step up and take your beating."

    Fury's camp had previously made it known they wanted Anthony Joshua to step aside from his planned rematch with Oleksandr Usyk after the latter's triumph in September, which would allow the WBC champion to go up against the Ukrainian in a unification bout.

    The Telegraph reported that Joshua had agreed to forego the rematch for a fee of £15million, though the former world champion denied claims a deal had been struck.

    In a video posted to his official social media channels on Tuesday, Fury made it clear that he had had enough of waiting, saying: "Tick tick tock. The time has run out of the bottle. You're all getting a good hiding – cowards."

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