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Evander Holyfield wanted to bite Mike Tyson to get even when Tyson bit him in 1997 title bout


Former heavyweight champions Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield were once bitter rivals. Their names will be linked together in history because of the night in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand Garden when Tyson twice bit Holyfield in the ears.

Tyson gnawed the tip of Holyfield's right ear off and spit it onto the canvas.

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Evander Holyfield after losing the tip of his right ear (AP file photo)

They've subsequently reconciled and have become close friends. Last year, when Holyfield was launching a line of barbecue sauce, called "Real Deal BBQ Sauce," Tyson joined him for the launch in Chicago. Tyson joked that he should have put the sauce on Holyfield's ear before biting him.

They shared a little more insight on that infamous night on Fox's upcoming series, "Being: Mike Tyson." The six-part series on Tyson's life debuts on Fox at 4 p.m. ET on Sept. 22. It moves to Fox Sports 1 on Sept. 24 at 10:30 p.m. ET, where it will stay for its run.

Holyfield had stopped Tyson in 1996 as a 25-1 underdog. Tyson complained that Holyfield was using his head -- a common complaint against Holyfield throughout his career -- and demanded a different referee for the June 28, 1997, rematch.

In the clip provided by Fox, Holyfield was talking about the way he positioned his head when Tyson bit him and what he wanted to do.

When you bit my ear, I pulled my arms up and went, 'Arrgh.' Everybody was telling me, 'Man, Holy, you got leap. Did you see how high you jumped?' I jumped and by the time I came down, boy, I'm from the ghetto. My first thing was, 'Man, I'm going to grab him and bite the daylights out of him to get him back.' I kept on saying, 'I'm going to get him back. I'm going to get him back. I want to get him back.'

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Mike Tyson (L) bites Evander Holyfield in 1997 (AP file photo)

Referee Mills Lane deducted two points from Tyson for the bite, but allowed the fight to continue. When it did, Tyson bit Holyfield a second time, prompting Lane to disqualify him.

At that point, Holyfield had other thoughts of revenge.

I said, 'I know. I'll just kick him.' [Expletive]. [Expletive]. I just said, 'I'm going to kick him.'

Holyfield was moved away before he could kick him and before the situation got any more out of hand than it already was.

Clearly, though, they've reconciled and though it was one of the dark nights in the sport's history, the two are still making money off it. Holyfield's profiting by sales of his barbecue sauce and Tyson is profiting by his TV shows and various other projects, including an upcoming book, in which he discusses the bite.

That night is never going to be a shining example of boxing at its best, but at least the men have settled their differences and have gotten past the animosity that existed at the time.

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A chunk of Evander Holyfield's ear sits on the canvas after Mike Tyson bit him (Getty Images file photo)

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