June 29, 2012
A little more than 15 years after one of the most infamous nights in boxing history, former heavyweight champions Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield were joking with each other and turning the so-called "Bite Fight" into a marketing opportunity.
Tyson twice bit Holyfield on the right ear during a June 28, 1997, rematch between them at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas.
On Friday, Holyfield was hawking a new product, Real Deal BBQ Sauce. He took to the social media outlet Twitter to get the word out and took the opportunity to jab at his one-time nemesis.
Tyson and Holyfield are now friendly and have appeared together frequently, including once on "The Oprah Winfrey Show." So Tyson took the bait and helped Holyfield out by tweeting about the barbecue sauce.
Holyfield then tweeted to Tyson that he'd send him some of the sauce, which was promptly retweeted by Holyfield's daughter, Evette.
Sports Illustrated did an oral history of the bout on Thursday and Tyson accepted full responsibility for his undisciplined behavior. It caused a near-riot in the MGM that night and left many fearing for their own safety.
Tyson had his license revoked by the Nevada Athletic Commission and was out of boxing for more than a year after the incident.
The late, great Jim Murray of the Los Angeles Times, wrote a spectacularly entertaining column on the bout on deadline. He was nearly blind at the time and had less than an hour to write, but he chronicled the event like he'd had weeks to research it.
The pre-fight controversy came when Tyson demanded that Mitch Halpern be replaced as the referee. Murray summed the fight up perfectly when he wrote, "Well, Mike Tyson didn't need a new referee. He needed a rabies shot."
There was good that came of that otherwise dark night. And so, too, was Friday's banter between the ex-champions. It was good to see them having fun with each other, even if it was for no reason other than to pitch some barbecue sauce.
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