Mike Tyson

During a boxing match in 1997, whose ear did Mike Tyson bite off?

And the answer: Evander Holyfield.    

The fight was billed as "The Sound and the Fury" ... and afterwards referred to as "The Bite Fight." It achieved notoriety as one of the most bizarre fights in boxing history, after Tyson bit off part of Holyfield's ear. Tyson was disqualified from the match and lost his boxing license.

Photo credit: Dazn.com.

Though some say "go down fighting" as a figure of speech, Mike Tyson took the phrase quite literally in 1997. In a somewhat absurd turn of events, the long-awaited match between Holyfield and Tyson quickly became known as the Bite Fight thanks to Tyson's disqualifying bites to Holyfield's ear.

The boxers were rivals before cartilage was lost, however. A fight seven months prior set the two on a path to clash for the heavyweight championship title, yet Holyfield was quite an underdog compared to Tyson's established acclaim in the sport. Despite being a former champion, Holyfield had been lackluster in several fights since he returned to fighting in 1995 after a brief retirement, and Tyson felt sure in his win.

Perhaps that's where he went wrong. Holyfield immediately dominated the match, with head-butting, hard punches and quick response time. Holyfield won the first three rounds, which enraged Tyson. Tyson began the third round with a furious attack. With forty seconds remaining in the round, Holyfield held Tyson in a clinch. In a moment forever immortalized in time, Tyson rolled his head above Holyfield's shoulder to bite Holyfield on his right ear. The bite took off a one-inch piece of cartilage from the top of the ear. As Holyfield shrieked in pain and jumped in circles, he managed to push Tyson away, at which point a time-out was called.

Tyson repeated the act once more in the match before it was ultimately called off for foul play. Tyson faced severe damages in court, and the loss of his title. After a year and an appeal in court, though, Tyson's boxing license was reinstated. When Tyson and Holyfield retired from boxing, they became close friends.

Watch the legendary match below (if you dare).


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