Evander Holyfield Wants to Fight Mike Tyson: 'I Can Definitely Handle Him'

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMay 14, 2020

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 09: Heavyweight boxing legends Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield attend the 19th annual Harold and Carole Pump Foundation Gala at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on August 09, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Michael Tullberg/Getty Images)
Michael Tullberg/Getty Images

Evander Holyfield confirmed Wednesday he's interested in an exhibition boxing match against Mike Tyson, more than two decades after their first two encounters. 

Holyfield told Fiaz Rafiq and Richard Forrester of The Sun he's not looking for a "knockout grudge match," but rather a charity bout that showcases "we were some of the greatest fighters in our era."

"I would do that! Yes, I want to fight Mike Tyson," he said. "My whole thing is I'm open, and I know that I want to do well for myself at age 57. I can definitely handle him. But Mike would have to want to do it as well."

Both Holyfield and Tyson, 53, have looked sharp in workout videos posted on social media in recent weeks, which helped spark speculation a third fight may be in the cards.

"It may not be over yet," Tyson said during a Facebook live stream (via CNN's Allen Kim). "Anything's possible. I feel unstoppable now. The gods of war have reawakened me, ignited my ego and want me to go to war again. I feel like I'm [young] again."

Holyfield upset Iron Mike to win the WBA heavyweight title in November 1996. He retained the belt in June 1997 after Tyson was disqualified from the rematch for biting The Real Deal's ear.

The Alabama native said the mentality would be far different if they fight in the near future compared to those memorable matchups in the 90s.

"If we do this fight it would be great," Holyfield told The Sun. "I can still shoot the jab, I can still shoot the shots, but not like a killing thing, 'I'm going to hurt you, I'm going to show you that I can knock him out.'"

He added: "Mike is looking sharp, but I'm in very good condition and shape physically and mentally. And if the money is right, too, then let's get it on."

A source told The Sun that Tyson only wants to return to face a "bona fide boxer" after receiving some offers for cross-sport fights and other lesser exhibitions, and Holyfield would seemingly qualify.

It wouldn't be a surprise if a deal is reached between the former rivals in the coming months.