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Tyson vs. Holyfield 3 Preview

Evander Holyfield Mike Tyson

By Brad Marchetti; Boxing legends Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson will fight a rubber match July 11th from Saudi Arabia 23 years after the “bite night” battle in 1997.

The 4-round exhibition fight will be waged for the Metamucil heavyweight championship and will be sponsored by Sunsweet prune juice. The Vegas oddsmakers have instilled the 53-year old Tyson, 50-6, 44 KO’s, as a -300 favorite over the 57-year old Holyfield, 44-10, 29 KO’s.

Tyson vs. Holyfield 3 Backdrop

Tyson last fought 15 years ago while Holyfield fought on well past his prime until his retirement at age 49 in 2011. Holyfield knocked out Tyson as a 22-1 underdog in their first fight in 1996 and won via disqualification eight months later in the infamous “bite night” fight.

Tyson would probably like nothing more than to get a sense of redemption after his disgraceful performance in the rematch and looks like a man on a mission in recent YouTube training videos. Holyfield says, bring it on, and looks ripped and ready to bully the bully once again. In such a unique match-up between grey beard former champions, three critical factors could come into play when handicapping.

Last Performance

Tyson: A 38-year old “Kid Dynamite” last fought as an 8-1 favorite against 6’6″ 273 Lb. Irish palooka Kevin McBride in a 6th round TKO loss in 2005. Tyson admitted in his book Undisputed Truth that he had no business being in the ring that night. Tyson displayed his usual aggression early but was wide and inaccurate in a very amateurish way.

More shocking was the surprising lack of power that the 233 Lb slugger had coming off an A.C.L. injury 12 months earlier in a 4th round KO loss to fringe contender Danny Williams. The bout started with Tyson hurling wide arm punches at the stationary head of McBride but was sloppy and fighting in a desperate fury. About a minute into the 3rd round, Tyson’s gas tank light turned on after wrestling around with his massive challenger in an ugly clinch fest.

An increasingly confident McBride bullied his weakening challenger with body shots in the trenches while soaking up Tyson’s occasional bomb. By the end of the 5th, McBride was connecting with solid punches to the chops of a warrior fighting on instincts.

Near the end of the 6th, Tyson collapsed to the canvas from exhaustion and actually asked the referee for help as he struggled to get up. “Iron” Mike retired on his stool in what was a poor exit for a man once regarded as the “baddest man on the planet.”

Holyfield: A 49-year old “Real Deal” Holyfield last fought in 2011, notching a 10th round KO over pretender Brian Nielsen as a 7 to 1 betting favorite. Holyfield, 226, pounded the fat 46-year old Nielsen for most of the bout and nearly cremated the 6’3″ 238-pound ball of dough in the 3rd round with his signature left hook.

Evander fought in spurts but still displayed slippery defense and plenty of power. Technically, Evander looked solid and was able to bludgeon Nielsen into an unrecognizable mess before the referee stopped the carnage in the 10th round.

Official scores read 88-82 on all three cards at the time of the stoppage. Holyfield looked ripped and surprisingly spry in what was a convincing win and respectable last scrap for the first ballot Hall-Of-Famer.

Edge: Holyfield

Physical Condition

Tyson: Mike looks ripped in recent photos and appears to have retained his hand speed despite his age. Tyson has been a Vegan since 2010 after ballooning up to 380 Lbs. after retirement. Expect a musclebound Tyson to clock in around 240 Lbs of Brooklyn bomber. Tyson’s affinity for smoking blunts however, may have compromised his lung capacity giving the edge in endurance to the cleaner living Holyfield.

Holyfield: The gym rat Holyfield appears to have packed on some mass to his Adonis frame due to his incredible work ethic. Expect “Commander Vander” to come in around 230 lbs. of Atlanta, GA locomotive. Holyfield has never been known as a party animal and should be better preserved from a health standpoint than Tyson.

The only alarming thing was Holyfield’s prior heart condition when he suffered from a mild heart problem while fighting Michael Moorer in 1997.

Edge: Even

Cognitive Condition

Tyson: Without question, Tyson took less physical punishment in the ring than Holyfield. Most of Mike’s fights ended early, and aside from beatdowns at the hands of Holyfield and Lennox Lewis, he didn’t take too much ring punishment. Tyson’s antics outside of the ring with his drug use must be accounted for however, and the residual damage that has been done to his reflexes remains to be seen.

Holyfield: Recent videos of Holyfield training on YouTube haven’t been impressive. “The Real Deal” looks slow, lethargic, and possibly brain-damaged from the 443 pro rounds logged in the ring. The best indicator of a “shot” fighter is the inability to pull the trigger on punches. Empirical evidence on recent video would indicate that Holyfield is “shot.”

Edge: Tyson

Fight Outcome: Tyson has more bullets left in his gun, and his advantages in reflexes, hand speed, and hunger should carry him to a relatively easy win in a short bout tailor-made for his style. “Iron Mike” has always been the type of fighter that is much better when spiritually consumed with boxing, and this should be a telling factor.

Holyfield’s once unbreakable skull can no longer absorb punches as they used to, and Holyfield will most likely get badly hurt at some point in the bout. Expect Evander to keep things respectable with his decent jab before absorbing a few bombs that send him back into the abyss. Bet Tyson to win via referee stoppage in the 3rd.

The Pick: Tyson -300 Moneyline

Tyson vs. Holyfield 3 Odds, Date, Time, Rounds, Tale-Of-The-Tape

Date: July 11th

Location: Saudi Arabia

Tyson vs. Holyfield 3 Odds: Tyson -300 Holyfield +200

Round Length: 4 rds. 3:00 minutes

Glove Size: (12 oz. Estimated)

Mike Tyson Tale-Of-The-Tape

Ht. 5’10”

Wt. 240 (Est.)

Age: 53

Reach: 71″

Evander Holyfield Tale-Of-The-Tape

Ht. 6’2″

Wt. 230 (Est.)

Age: 57

Reach: 77″

Mike Tyson vs. Holyfield Power Ratings


Power: 9/7.5

Hand Speed/Accuracy: 7/4

Stamina: 5/6

Defense: 6/6

Chin/Resiliency: 8/7

Punch Volume: 5/4

Jab: 5/6

Legs: 6/5

In-Fighting: 7/6


Height/Reach: Holyfield +4

Strength/Size: Holyfield +1

Body punch Resiliency: –

Intelligence: –

Confidence/Focus/Will To Win: Tyson +1

Cuts/Injury: –

Age/Wear and Tear: Tyson +4

Judges Scoring: Tyson +3

Inactivity: –

Trainer/Camp: –

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