Former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson has confirmed his next bout will be against former rival Evander Holyfield in an exhibition match on May 29.
Both boxers previously fought twice, 1996 and 1997, the latter in which Tyson controversially bit his opponent’s ear and got disqualified.
Tyson recently returned to the ring in a first eight-round exhibition tango with Roy Jones Jr. that ended in a stalemate, and the 54 years old New Yorker confirmed his next fight in a live Instagram interview with Haute Living.
“I just want everybody to know, the fight is on with me and Holyfield,” Tyson dubbed “the baddest man on the planet” started.
“Holyfield’s a humble man, I know that. And he’s a man of God, but I’m God’s man. And, listen, I’m going to be successful on May 29th.”
While Iron Mike has propped up the encounter and has confirmed the clash, the Holyfield camp earlier said the fight deal was near collapse.
“Team Holyfield sincerely believed a deal was imminent, especially after the Hard Rock threw its support behind the project, and there were multiple other offers conveyed to Team Tyson,” he added.
“However, Team Tyson’s demands recently became untenable, and not what Mike Tyson had originally agreed on in direct conversations with Holyfield.”
Tyson lost twice to Holyfield, suffering an eleventh-round technical knockout in 1996 then lost by disqualification a year later.
And while Tyson seemed certain that the show would go on in his interview, he did note that the two sides would have to work to overcome a “small fundamental difference” and “get some paperwork done.”
After Tyson’s fight with Jones, he said he didn’t think Holyfield’s “business associates” were the best match for him, calling out his camp and telling reporters “whoever is handling him is totally wrong.” Over the weekend, he took to Instagram to say that he would never work with Triller—the promoter of his November fight—again and would only work with his Legends Only League.
“I am a partner in Legends Only League and my next event is with my league,” he wrote (h/t ESPN’s Michael Rothstein). “I will never do another event or any business with Triller so anyone misrepresenting that they own the rights to my name or my next event isn’t true. I am not with or ever will be with Triller’s Fight Club.”
The bout would be the third between the pair, reigniting one of boxing’s biggest rivalries.
Holyfield is a two-time winner against Tyson, with the first match resulting in an 11th-round TKO in November 1996. He then won again in June 1997 when Tyson was disqualified in the fourth round for biting Holyfield’s ear.
The 58-year-old Holyfield hasn’t fought in almost 10 years, while Tyson is months removed from his first bout in more than 15 years.
“This is the fight that must happen for both our legacies,” Holyfield said in December.
The event was set for May 29 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.