Evander Holyfield’s Reps Claim Mike Tyson Turned Down $25 Million to Return to Ring

The bout would have taken place over Memorial Day weekend at Hard Rock Stadium in Florida

Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield
Heavyweight boxing legends Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield in 2019.
Michael Tullberg/Getty

After boxing legend Mike Tyson fought former champion Roy Jones Jr. to a draw in an eight-round exhibition bout in November, there was some hope that the ex-heavyweight champ would return to the ring to fight longtime rival Evander Holyfield as previously discussed.

But according to Holyfield’s camp, Tyson turned down a $25 million payday to get back between the ropes for a bout that would have taken place over Memorial Day weekend at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens in Florida.

“We thought this was a done deal but it quickly fell apart when Tyson’s people declined all offers,” Holyfield’s manager Kris Lawrence said in a statement Monday to ESPN. “We were negotiating in good faith all along and it appears we just ended up wasting our time.”

Lawrence’s statement coincides with one Tyson released on Instagram over the weekend that he would never work with Triller, the broadcaster of the Tyson-Jones fight, again.

“Just to be clear there is no Tyson with Triller fight,” Tyson wrote on social media. “I don’t know any Triller executives personally. I don’t have a deal with Triller or any head executive representing them for the next event. I am a partner in Legends Only League and my next event is with my league. I will never do another event or any business with Triller so anyone misrepresenting that they own the rights to my name or my next event isn’t true. I am not with or ever will be with Triller’s Fight Club.”

Tyson and Holyfield had an iconic rivalry in the 1990s despite only fighting twice. Holyfield won their first fight in November 1996 via an 11th round TKO. In the June 1997 rematch, Tyson earned a fourth-round disqualification after biting Holyfield’s ear twice.

In related news, Oscar winner Jamie Foxx will play Tyson in a forthcoming TV series that will be directed by Antoine Fuqua and produced by Martin Scorsese.

“I have been looking to tell my story for quite some time,” Tyson said in a statement sent to AFP. “I look forward to collaborating with Martin, Antoine, Jamie and the entire creative team to bring audiences a series that not only captures my professional and personal journey but also inspires and entertains.”

The project is not related to Iron Mike, a limited-edition series about Tyson that Hulu is making which does not have the former champ’s blessing.

Prior to his official retirement from prizefighting following a loss to Kevin McBride in 2005, Tyson went 50-5 with 44 knockouts and was considered one of the best heavyweights ever.

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