Mike Tyson Turned Down $25M Fight Contract Offer, Evander Holyfield Says

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 22, 2021

FILE - In this Aug. 2, 2019, file photo, Mike Tyson attends a celebrity golf tournament in Dana Point, Calif. Tyson is coming back to boxing at age 54. The former heavyweight champion will meet four-division champion Roy Jones Jr. in an eight-round exhibition match on Sept. 12. (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP, File)
Willy Sanjuan/Associated Press

Evander Holyfield said Mike Tyson turned down $25 million for a potential bout between the two former heavyweight champions, per Ben Baby of ESPN.

"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 Monday.

The fight was set to take place in Miami on Memorial Day weekend and could have been the third matchup between the two after the memorable battles in 1996-97.

Tyson recently revealed on his Hotboxin' with Mike Tyson podcast (h/t Hans Themistode of Boxing Insider) he still intends to have a fight in Miami in late May.

Holyfield's side said there were "intense negotiations for several months" regarding a bout before the offer was rejected, per TMZ Sports

The two fighters reportedly had agreed on a 50-50 split after talking to each other on the phone early in negotiations.

In December, Holyfield called out his rival in an attempt to get him to sign a deal.

"No more excuses," he said in a release, per Cameron Wolfe of ESPN. "This is the fight that must happen for both our legacies. Saturday night you said you were ready to fight me, so sign the contract and get in the ring, Tyson. The world is waiting and it's on you now. I'm ready."

Holyfield handed Tyson his second career loss in 1996 with a stunning TKO to win the heavyweight belt. A year later, Tyson was disqualified in the rematch after biting Holyfield's ear.

Tyson retired in 2005 but returned to face Roy Jones Jr. in an exhibition match last November.

The 54-year-old recently revealed on his Hotboxin' with Mike Tyson podcast (h/t Hans Themistode of Boxing Insider) he still intends to have a fight in Miami in late May.