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Evander Holyfield on Mike Tyson: ‘When he bit me my first plan was to bite him back’

5-time Heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield told The Jim Rome Show on Radio Row that his first bout with Mike Tyson was his most memorable fight during his illustrious career because he felt Tyson was the one guy tied directly to Evander’s legacy.

“My whole career was built upon if you don’t fight Tyson it means you dodged the best man,” Holyfield said. “I never did dodge Mike, but that fight was the pinnacle. Once I beat Mike I actually felt like the world champion but I had already became the champion when I beat Buster Douglas but other people wanted to see me fight Mike Tyson and I was glad I was able to accomplish that.”

Holyfield explained his mindset going into the first Tyson fight, one in which he was given little chance of winning.

“When I was brought up, my momma told me ‘Son, your chance is just as great as anybody else’s, how much heart do you have? You don’t know until you get out there when two people get tired who’s going to push?’ Like that, if you want it, keep pushing,” Holyfield explained. “And I did exactly what my mother instructed me to do and I won the fight.”

The 52-year old former champ also shared his initial reaction to being bitten by Tyson in their rematch and says he almost retaliated, but power from a higher source refrained him.

“It was shocking. You really can’t plan for nothing like that,” Holyfield said. “When he bit me my first plan was to bite him back, but it just so happened, my corner guy, the prophet had told him something like this was going to happen.”

Holyfield explained what the prophet exactly said to his corner man leading up to the second fight.

“This prophet told him he was going to do something in your face, I thought he was going to hit me with an elbow or something like that, but I never thought of a person biting somebody,” said Holyfield. “He said something was going to happen in your facial area but that’s a decoy you have to keep your mind on the lord. You can see how after this happened if I run in there straight he has a good chance of catching me with a shot, he wins.”

Holyfield believes Tyson bit him to save face.

“The fight was difficult, he was getting frustrated, and your way out, everybody has to have a way to check out,” said Holyfield.

  • Evander Holyfield
  • Jan 29th 2015

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