Rovell: Mike Tyson Cost Himself Equivalent of $100M by Biting Holyfield's Ear

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJune 28, 2020

LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 28: Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson fight for WBA World Heavyweight Title on June 28,1997 at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Fight was stop in the third round and Tyson was disqualified for biting Holyfield on both ears. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
Focus On Sport/Getty Images

Mike Tyson might have missed out on the modern-day equivalent of a nine-figure sum during his rematch with Evander Holyfield in June 1997.

Tyson was disqualified after the third round for biting Holyfield's ear.

On the 23rd anniversary of the bout, Action Network's Darren Rovell estimated the disqualification and its subsequent fallout cost Iron Mike around $100 million or more.

Tyson had to forfeit $3 million from his $30 million purse and received an 18-month ban. Rovell's projection comes from the money the Hall of Famer could've pulled in from two marquee fights.

While it's impossible to verify that number, Tyson possessed the kind of drawing power few others in boxing did. Even in 2002, when Tyson was well past his prime, he and Lennox Lewis combined to garner 1.95 million pay-per-view buys for their long-awaited encounter. That meant just under $107 million in PPV revenue alone.

Forbes estimated Tyson's career earnings to be as high as $685 million.