Mike Tyson supports biter James Graham
Mike Tyson supports biter James Graham

Disgraced Bulldogs prop James Graham has received a strong show of support from former boxing bad boy – and fellow biter - Mike Tyson.

Graham was banned for 12 weeks earlier this month after being found guilty of biting the ear of Melbourne fullback Billy Slater during the NRL grand final.

The incident was similar to when Tyson infamously bit a chunk out of Evander Holyfield's ear during their heavyweight bout in 1997, which saw Tyson banned for 12 months and fined $US3 million.

While labelling his own punishment “absurd”, Tyson said the sentence handed down to Graham, and the negative publicity that followed, was punishment enough.

"The punishment they gave (Graham) ... well, you just can't take away this guy's money and stuff. He made a mistake," Tyson told Fairfax media.

"He probably has a family to support. Give him a suspension, give him some kind of fine but you can't take this guy's money and abuse him (just because) he made a mistake!"

Tyson said the brutal nature of rugby league meant incidents like the Graham bite were bound to happen.

"It's football with no equipment, so it's tough and ... you should expect something like that to happen.

"I'm sure there is a fear-factor in that you could break your neck and be paralysed in a second."

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