Mike Tyson Resists Urge to Bite Evander Holyfield's Ear When Boxers Hug It Out

Gabe ZaldivarPop Culture Lead WriterFebruary 18, 2013

Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield shared a hug recently, and both came away without missing any ears. 

Well, not counting the amount bitten off of Holyfield's ear back in 1997, of course. 

The Chicago Tribune reports that Tyson stopped by a Jewel-Osco grocery store, where his old rival was unveiling a new barbecue sauce on Saturday.

No, the oddest part of the story isn't that Holyfield has a barbecue sauce called Real Deal; it's that he got what was a surprise visit from the man who once bit off a chunk of his ear. Holyfield had this to say about the chance meeting:

It sent a message and let the world know that two fighters can come and forgive each other and move on for the best and the world can do the same thing. Everyone knows we were arch-rivals and all that, but when all is said and done, I forgave him and he forgave himself. Here's a man who changed his life and changed my life, and that's the way the world is supposed to be.

Tyson, proving once again that he has moved beyond playing the role of vilified bully, embraced Holyfield in one super bear hug. 

The former boxer, who is now something of a comedic star, was in Chicago for his one-man show. Business Insider (via the Associated Press) reports that Tyson's reasoning for making a stopover to see his former opponent is "he 'just wanted to see Evander' and that 'I love' him."

When did Tyson become so cuddly?

Rick Chandler of NBC Sports reminds us this is not the first time the two have seen one another since that fateful night in Las Vegas, as they both appeared with Oprah Winfrey back in 2009. 

Still, seeing the two together will always be rather astonishing. 

Let's go back to June 1997. In the third round, Tyson was asked kindly not to bite Holyfield's ear. The fight continued, only for Tyson to once again chomp down on his opponent's other ear. 

The fight was stopped and Tyson was disqualified, putting a cap on a bizarre and tumultuous career. 

Proving that you can always change your legacy, Tyson is building his resume in Hollywood, featuring in productions such as The Hangover, Entourage and the upcoming The Hangover 3 and Scary Movie 5

In August 2012, he began his one-man stand-up act entitled "Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth."

A decade ago, not many people would have thought Tyson would be so well-received. And nobody would have guessed he would pull off impromptu stops to say hello to his rival as if they were the best of friends. 


Hit me up on Twitter for more sports swagger.