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Evander Holyfield says Mike Tyson inspired his move to heavyweight division

The former two-division champ also says he’d be up for doing a charity bout with his old rival.

19th Annual Harold And Carole Pump Foundation Gala Photo by Michael Tullberg/Getty Images
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

With Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield both working out for potential exhibition bouts for charity, Holyfield suggests the two former champions, now in their 50s, could meet in a third fight, this time an exhibition for charity.

The 57-year-old Holyfield, who hasn’t fought since 2011, told Sky Sports News that a meeting between the two could be possible, but that he hasn’t spoken with the 53-year-old Tyson, last fought in 2005:

“I don’t know, you would have to ask him! I wouldn’t ask nobody to do anything they don’t want to do. But it’s for charity. If we can work something out that works for everybody then it’s a win-win-win.”

Holyfield (44-10-2, 29 KO) and Tyson (50-6, 44 KO) met in Nov. 1996 and June 1997. In the first fight, Holyfield simply got the better of Tyson, stopping him in the 11th round to win the WBA heavyweight title. In the infamous rematch, Tyson was disqualified in the third round for biting Holyfield’s ear.

Time has softened the relationship between the two, and they’ve been friendly for years. Holyfield, who had been a world champion at cruiserweight, says that Tyson’s pro success as a small heavyweight inspired him to make the move up.

“When Tyson became heavyweight champion of the world, it made me realise that I could do it. ... I appreciate that somebody went before me. Mike beat up the big guys. If he could do it, I could do it.”

Is the two of them fighting a good idea? Probably not, unless a lot of precautions are taken, which they generally are for charity bouts. Any call for these two middle-aged men to have a legitimate fight again is crazy, and there are more than a few people out there who think it’s a good idea, and there is surely some promoter out there who would find a way and the money to put it on.

But for now, it’s just a bit of talk. It probably should stay that way, unless any exhibition they do is along the lines of Holyfield’s “fight” with Mitt Romney.

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