ALSO ON SLAM!
Sunday, June 29, 1997
Tyson DQd for biting HolyfieldLAS VEGAS (AP) -- Evander Holyfield, bleeding badly from his right ear after being bitten by Mike Tyson, retained the WBA heavyweight championship Saturday night when Tyson was disqualified after the third round.
After the fight was stopped, Tyson complained to referee Mills Lane and then charged across the ring to Holyfield's corner as the ring filled with security people. He never got to Holyfield, but he did hit a police officer before being pulled away.
Tyson's $30 million purse was being withheld pending a hearing before the Nevada Athletic Commission, according Marc Ratner, executive director of the commission.
Several seconds after the ruckus was stopped, another broke out as Tyson again tried to get across the ring. He was stopped and Holyfield and his entourage left the ring.
Tyson was winning the third round when, with about 40 seconds left, Holyfield suddenly jumped up and down in anger and walked away, blood streaming from his right ear. Tyson ran after Holyfield and pushed him before Lane got him away.
Time was called while Dr. Flip Homansky went to Holyfield's corner to examine the wund, which was caused by a bite.
While Homansky was examining Holyfield, Lane told the judges he was deducting two points from Tyson. Later he said: "I told Tyson after the first bite, 'One more like that and you're gone."'
The fight resumed after a delay of four minutes and, when it did, Tyson bit Holyfield on the left ear. Both men then threw wild, angry punches that didn't connect.
After the round ended, Lane disqualified Tyson, not, he said, because of the bleeding but because of the foul.
Lane was named referee Friday after Mitch Halpern voluntarily withdrew, saying he didn't want to be the focal point of the fight. John Horne and Roy Holloway, Tyson's managers, had protested to the Nevada State Athletic Commission that Halpern, the referee of the first fight, wouldn't treat him fairly. The commission rejected the protest by a 4-1 vote.
The sellout crowd of 16,331 in the MGM Grand Garden was in an uproar from the time the fighters entered the ring.
Tyson came out more cautiously than in the first fight when he rocked Holyfield with the first punch, a right to the head, and he tried to box. But Holyfield had the best of the round with a couple punches to the head.
In the second round, Tyson was cut at the corner of the right eye by what Lane ruled was an accidental head butt. Holyfield had the best of the round, which was marked mostly by holding and mauling.
Then came the weird and wild third round. Early in the round, Tyson landed several short punches to the head that moved Holyfield back and he was controlling the round when he bit Holyfield on the ear. The champion jumped up and down in anger and turned away.
After the fight, as Holyfield was being interviewed, a chunk of his right ear seemed to be missing.
"The things that happened didn't have to happen," Holyfield said. "The first time, my corner told me, 'Just keep cool.' Then he spit his mouthpiece out and bit me again."
Lane said he took two points away after the first bite and told Tyson, 'If you bite him again, I'm going to disqualify you."'
"It was an easy way to get out of a fight, to foul someone," Holyfield said. "Fear causes people to do something to get out of a fight. This was a boxing match, not a rumble. Why do you have to bite my ear?"
Lane said Homansky told him Holyfield could have continued, but he reiterated that Tyson was disqualified because of the double foul.
Asked if he thought Tyson was retaliating for the head butt in the second round, Lane said, "I don't know. You'll have to ask him."
John Horne, Tyson's co-manager, blamed Tyson's fouling on the head butt in the second round:
"When a person gets head-butted, you can't left that go. Evander turned it into a street fight."
Horne also said Tyson had a 3-inch cut on his forehead, apparently from the head butt and that Holyfield got a little nick on the ear.
When Tyson appeared for an interview, there was no cut on his forehead, but there was a cut near the outside corner of his right eye.
Before the fight, Holyfield said, "I'm the man and he can't handle me. This individual can't get over the fact that I did it before."
Tyson certainly blew his cool and left Lane little choice.
Each fighter weighed 218 pounds.
The victory, for which Holyfield earned at least $35 million, boosted his record to 34-3 with 24 knockouts. Tyson was to have earned $30 million for his third loss against 45 victories, 39 by knockout.
Whether the wild fight will lead to a third match between the two remains to be seen. There could be, if there is enough money on the line.
"Holyfield is not the warrior he claims he is," Tyson said. "He got a nick on his ear and he quit."
Judge Duane Ford, however, said, "Tyson bit a hunk out of his ear and spit it out on the floor."