Boxing great Evander Holyfield could be set for a THIRD showdown with former rival Mike Tyson after the former world heavyweight champion confirmed he is set to make his return to the ring for a charity bout at the age of 57.
Holyfield announced on social media late Wednesday that he will fight for the first time in nine years to help raise funds for the charity campaign Unite 4 Our Fight, igniting speculation that he could be set to renew ties with Tyson which was among the most infamous sporting rivalries of the 1990s.
“The moment you’ve all been waiting for…. The Champ is back,” Holyfield wrote on Instagram, accompanied by a video showing him in various stages of training.
“I’d like to announce that I will be making a comeback to the ring. I will be fighting in exhibition matches for a great cause. I’m training to promote a charity that’s very close to me.
“Our #Unite4OurFight campaign aims to provide students the resources they need for emotional development and education.”
The announcement comes days after another legend of the ring, Mike Tyson, made a similar statement in which he said he was training for a return to the sport for an exhibition bout, which has led to speculation that the two former rivals-turned-friends could tangle once more – 23 years after their last fight ended prematurely after Tyson was disqualified for biting a chunk of Holyfield’s ear off.
Holyfield won the first encounter in 1996 with a surprise 11th round TKO.
Any professional animosity between the two fearsome fighters has melted away in the years following, however. The two have been pictured together on several occasions, and Holyfield recently made a guest appearance of Tyson’s Hotboxin’ podcast.
They most recently shared a ring together as recently as February when both men were guests in the ring ahead of the world title rematch between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder.
“I’ve been hitting the mitts for the last week,” Tyson said on Instagram Live recently of his own potential comeback.
“I’ve been working out, I’ve been trying to get in the ring, I think I’m going to box some exhibitions and get in shape. I want to go to the gym and get in shape to be able to box three or four-round exhibitions for some charities and stuff.
“Some charity exhibitions, make some money, help some homeless and drug-affected motherf**ker like me. I do two hours on cardio, I do the bike and the treadmill for an hour, then I do some light weights, 300, 250 reps.
“Then I start my day with the boxing thing, I go in there and hit the mitts, 30 minutes, 25 minutes, start getting in better condition. I’m starting to put those combinations together. I’m in pain, I feel like three guys kicked the sh*t out of me.”
A third fight between the two, even for charity, would once again demonstrate the one truism which is a constant in combat sports: retirements are often a temporary arrangement.