28 June 1997

Holyfield–Tyson II: Mike Tyson is disqualified in the third round for biting a piece off Evander Holyfield’s ear.

Mike Tyson’s infamous disqualification for biting off a piece of Evander Holyfield’s ear took place on June 28, 1997, during their highly anticipated rematch at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The incident, known as the “Bite Fight,” remains one of the most memorable and controversial moments in boxing history.

The first fight between Tyson and Holyfield had occurred seven months prior, on November 9, 1996, with Holyfield defeating Tyson by TKO in the 11th round to claim the WBA heavyweight title. The rematch was eagerly awaited, and fans were hoping for an intense battle.

However, the fight quickly turned chaotic in the third round. Tyson, frustrated by Holyfield’s tactics and feeling that he was being headbutted, retaliated by biting Holyfield’s ear. Holyfield recoiled in pain, and referee Mills Lane halted the fight to assess the situation.

Upon resuming the fight, Tyson bit Holyfield’s other ear, which prompted Lane to disqualify him and declare Holyfield the winner by disqualification. The crowd erupted in shock and disbelief as chaos ensued inside the ring.

The aftermath of the incident was significant. Tyson faced widespread condemnation and severe consequences for his actions. The Nevada State Athletic Commission suspended him indefinitely, fined him $3 million, and revoked his boxing license, effectively banning him from professional boxing for over a year.

The incident tarnished Tyson’s reputation and exacerbated the controversies surrounding his career. It further solidified Holyfield’s status as a respected fighter who endured an unforgettable ordeal. Despite the shocking nature of the “Bite Fight,” both Tyson and Holyfield eventually reconciled and have since expressed mutual respect and forgiveness.