A fight between Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield is in danger of falling through because contract negotiations have hit an impasse, the two sides said Monday
Holyfield’s camp claimed Tyson has refused a $25 million guarantee and, as a result, jeopardized the exhibition match tentatively set for May in Miami.
Tyson famously bit off a piece of Holyfield’s ear and was disqualified during their fight in 1997. The previous year, in the first fight between the legendary boxers, Holyfield won by technical knockout in the 11th round.
“While neither side has announced publicly that the fight is not going to happen, with negotiations at a standstill and the date rapidly approaching, it seems unlikely that this fight will occur as planned,’’ Holyfield’s camp said in a press release issued Monday.
RETURN TO RING: Mike Tyson's return was guided by two powerhouse women: Kiki Tyson and Sophie Watts
Evander Holyfield, left, and Mike Tyson, right, attend a special screening of "Champs" at the Village East Cinema in 2015. (Photo: Andy Kropa, /Invision/AP)
Azim Spicer, who is Tyson’s brother-in-law and has overseen contract negotiations for the fight, disputed the Holyfield camp’s claim and said the prospective fight is all but dead.
“Nobody offered Mike $25 million,’’ said Azim, who added, “Mike doesn’t want to do anything with them anymore. We’re done.’’
But while saying it was a long shot, Azim said the fight still could take place if Holyfield agrees to a 50-50 split of an undisclosed purse and 50-50 split of the “back end’’ money, which would include revenue from pay-per-view sales and merchandise.
Tyson, 54, fought Roy Jones Jr., 51, in an exhibition match Nov. 28 that generated more than $80 million in pay-pay-per-view sales.
Holyfield’s camp said the fight with Tyson was scheduled for May 29 at Hard Rock Stadium, home of the Miami Dolphins.
Before Tyson agreed to fight Jones, according to Spicer, Holyfield turned down a $10 million guarantee and a 50-50 split of back end money to fight Tyson. Spicer said Holyfield demanded a $25 million guarantee before negotiations ended.
The talks between the two camps resumed after Tyson’s celebrated return to the ring 15 years after his last professional fight. At Staples Center in Los Angeles, Tyson fought Jones to a draw during their eight-round exhibition.
“We thought this was a done deal but it quickly fell apart when Tyson’s people declined all offers,” said Kris Lawrence, Holyfield’s manager. “We were negotiating in good faith all along and it appears we just ended up wasting our time.”
But Spicer said Holyfield’s camp does not have $25 million for such a guarantee and Tyson’s camp refused to guarantee Holyfield $25 million because the market for the fight wouldn’t support it.
“Holyfield’s 58 years old," Spicer said. “This is an exhibition fight. This isn’t a real fight. This isn’t like Holyfield-Tyson 3, all out. They’re in their 50s. It’s an exhibition, it’s two-minute rounds, big gloves, it’s a different price, you know?"
Holyfield’s camp, by contrast, referred to the fight as “Tyson v Holyfield 3’"and “the trilogy finale of this great rivalry between two of the greatest legends in the history of boxing."
Spicer said Tyson still wants to fight at least once more and so Spicer is negotiating with possible opponents that he declined to name.
“Holyfield blew it," Spicer said. “He’s going to be watching on the sidelines again."
Source: Read Full Article