The Secret of Evander Holyfield’s Ear Fragment after being bitten off by Mike Tyson
On June 28, 1997, Mike Tyson caused one of the most notorious scandals in boxing history by biting off a piece of Evander Holyfield’s ear during their match. So what happened to the ear fragment that was bitten off?
The MGM Grand in Las Vegas was the center of the sporting universe that evening, hosting the highly anticipated rematch between Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield. The atmosphere was electric, engulfing the glamorous city as expected.
Holyfield took the initiative in the first two rounds against Mike “Iron” Tyson. In the second round, just under a minute remaining, Holyfield, using cunning defensive tactics, headbutted Tyson with great force. Tyson’s eye was cut, and blood started to flow from his face. However, referee Mills Lane overlooked this incident, and the fight continued.
Entering the third round, Mike Tyson transformed into a true “monster.” He relentlessly unleashed punches towards Holyfield. With no other option, Holyfield resorted to clinching Tyson to slow down the pace of the fight. Like a trapped bull, Tyson bit into Holyfield’s shoulder, resulting in a two-point deduction and a warning from Mills Lane.
Following the American referee’s decision, Mike “Iron” Tyson decided to end the fight in his own way. He viciously bit into Holyfield’s right ear and spat out the bitten-off ear onto the boxing ring canvas.
Years later, Holyfield still couldn’t escape the memory of the strangest injury he encountered throughout his professional boxing career. He shared, “I thought my ear was torn off. Looking at the bite mark, I felt like a part of my ear was missing. I couldn’t believe it.”
After the fight ended, an MGM Grand staff member discovered Holyfield’s ear fragment on the canvas. Wearing rubber gloves, he picked it up and went straight to Holyfield’s dressing room. Holyfield’s team wrapped the ear fragment in a rubber glove and placed it in an ice bucket, hoping that the surgeons could reattach it later that night. Mysteriously, the ear fragment disappeared during the ambulance ride.
The surgeons performed a 90-minute surgical procedure, including eight stitches to close the wound, but they were unable to reattach the missing part of the ear.
Despite the horrific incident, Tyson and Holyfield were able to find understanding and even openly discussed the situation in interviews. No one knows what ultimately happened to that ear fragment. Several scenarios have been proposed, including a commercial that received support from a large audience.
In the commercial, Tyson appeared at Holyfield’s house with a surprising gift. “I apologize, Evander,” Tyson said as he handed a small box to Holyfield. “It’s your ear. I’ve kept it in formaldehyde.” This was followed by a hug between the two boxing legends.