Seventeen years removed from the infamous ear-biting incident, Mike Tyson will present longtime rival turned friend Evander Holyfield as he enters the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame on Aug. 9.
That fateful night in 1997, a championship rematch turned awry as Tyson was disqualified for biting Holyfield's ear, is one of the defining moments in sports history. The two have since buried the hatchet, and Rich Marotta, the president of the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame, says the reunion at the podium for the historic occasion is but a slight look at what the sport can achieve, per Houston Mitchell of the Los Angeles Times:
This is the kind of thing we showed is possible in boxing last year at our inaugural induction ceremony -- former and even current rivals coming together under the same roof to celebrate boxing. Everyone checks those rivalries at the door. Tyson presenting Holyfield is sheer magic.
Marotta is referring to last year's August spectacle that inducted major names such as Tyson, Julio Cesar Chavez, Larry Holmes, Oscar De La Hoya, Sugar Ray Leonard, promoters Bob Arum and Don King, among others.
The five-time heavyweight champion is, of course, a marquee addition to the growing crop of legendary faces.
Holyfield ran up a respectable 44-10-2 record over the course of his career, with 29 knockouts. His journey began at the age of 21 shortly after winning a bronze medal in the light heavyweight division at the 1984 Summer Olympics.
He went on to dominate the cruiserweight scene before moving up to heavyweight in 1988 and owns career-defining victories over names such as George Foreman, Larry Holmes, Riddick Bowe and, of course, the two triumphs over Tyson.
Given past events, it may surprise some to discover that Holyfield's relationship with Tyson is superb, as one can glean from a Fox Sports video posted last year:
The two even recently appeared in a commercial together making light of the ear bite. Tyson has said that the opportunity to present Holyfield is a "privilege and high honor," per ESPN.com's Dan Rafael.
In only its second iteration, the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame could not have picked a better pair of ambassadors to the sport.
For both men, it's a fitting way to further their legacies, publicly end any alleged drama between them and promote a sport that is an important facet of their lives. For fans, it is sure to be an awe-inspiring moment.
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