Mike Tyson has responded to bombshell reports he turned down a $A32 million deal to fight fellow heavyweight boxing great Evander Holyfield.
The prospects for the highly anticipated trilogy bout looked dead in the water this week when Holyfield's manager confirmed that Tyson's team had pulled the pin.
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Holyfield’s manager Kris Lawrence said what appeared to be a "done deal" for the fight to happen in May, fell apart because of Tyson's team.
“We thought this was a done deal but it quickly fell apart when Tyson’s people declined all offers.
💰 $25MILLION FOR THE TRILOGY REJECTED ❌
🥊@MikeTyson representatives reportedly refused to accept a $25,000,000 guarantee from Team @holyfield to participate in Tyson v Holyfield 3 at the Hard Rock Stadium 😱#boxing #TysonHolyfield pic.twitter.com/tiAhohM8zm
— Pro Boxing Fans (@ProBoxingFans) March 22, 2021
“We were negotiating in good faith all along and it appears we just ended up wasting our time.”
In a stunning twist, however, Tyson says the fight is back on and that the final details of the May 29 bout were being ironed out.
"I just want everybody to know the fight is on with me and Holyfield," Tyson said during an Instagram Live session.
"The only thing we have to do is get some small, fundamental paperwork done and then it's all to the races for me and Evander.
"Holyfield's a humble man I know that and he's a man of God, but I'm God's man. Listen, I'm going to be successful May 29."
Tyson confirmed last week that he will return to the boxing ring in May, and that it would take place on Memorial Day weekend at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami - the home of NFL franchise the Dolphins.
The 54-year-old casually dropped the announcement while chatting to guests Canelo Alvarez and Eddy Reynoso on his Hotboxin' podcast.
While the former heavyweight champion didn't mention the name of his opponent at the time, a trilogy fight against Holyfield was always the dream for boxing fans.
The pair first fought in 1996 when Holyfield took Tyson's heavyweight belt with a stunning 11th round KO.
Tyson was then disqualified during their rematch in 1997 for twice biting Holyfield's ear in one of the most infamous moments in sporting history.
Holyfield 'ready' for Tyson
The 54-year-old then made a shock return to the ring last year to take on fellow Hall of Famer Roy Jones Jr. in a hugely anticipated but slightly underwhelming exhibition bout that ended in a draw.
Despite the anticlimactic end to the spectacle, the fight generated some $100 million in pay-per-view revenue - meaning massive pay days for both fighters.
Understandably wanting a piece of the action, Holyfield told The Sun in January that he was in training and determined to go toe-to-toe with Tyson once more.
“I’m still training for this,” Holyfield said. “I know it will be some day this deal will happen and I’m ready for him. I’m doing OK.”
Tyson admitted recently that the fight against Jones Jr. gave him a reminder of what he'd been missing.
“I felt better than I anticipated,” Tyson revealed on his podcast.
“I thought I would be a little more nervous than I was, but I was relaxed. I felt like, wow, I could do some more, I could punch more combinations, I could do this and do that.
"I said, ‘Wow, this is interesting.’ And I want to do it again, and I want to do it against someone I could go all out on. It made me interested in wanting to do it again.
“I wanted to go the distance. I didn’t want to knock anybody out. That’s what people expected, but I wanted to go the distance.”
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