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December 19, 2014

Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield to Meet on 'The Oprah Winfrey Show'

by Tom Conroy, posted Oct 15th 2009 4:45PM
Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield
This Friday on 'The Oprah Winfrey Show,' for the first time since Mike Tyson twice bit off a piece of Evander Holyfield's ear during a title boxing match in 1997, the two boxers will talk to each other face-to-face.Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield
This Friday on 'The Oprah Winfrey Show,' for the first time since Mike Tyson twice bit off a piece of Evander Holyfield's ear during a title boxing match in 1997, the two boxers will talk to each other face-to-face.

Setting up the rematch is Oprah Winfrey, who got Tyson to open up about that incident and other painful moments in his past in an interview this Monday. Judging by that interview, the outcome of the reunion is hard to predict.

Tyson came close to tears when talking about the recent accidental death of his four-year-old daughter, Exodus, and when reminiscing about his early coach and mentor Cus D'Amato. But in discussing the biting incident, Tyson didn't sound quite so sensitive.

"I was angry that he was butting my head," the 43-year-old boxer told Winfrey, saying that Holyfield had used the same tactic in a previous fight. "I was just in a rage. It doesn't make no excuse for what happened."

"I wanted to inflict so much pain on him and stuff," Tyson continued. "I was just pissed off that he was such a great fighter, too."

Winfrey pointed out that Tyson showed no remorse after the incident. "I didn't feel guilty at all," Tyson responded, saying that he publicly apologized to Holyfield only because his crew was getting on his nerves about it: "It wasn't sincere and stuff."

Since then, Tyson said, "I just always wanted to have a place to sit down with him and talk to him and express myself." Even though he has crossed paths with Holyfield, Tyson said, they haven't spoken.

"When I see him sometimes," he said, "he's a little leery of me."

According to a press release from Winfrey's production company, on Friday's show, which will air live, "Tyson will take questions from the studio audience and speak about the overwhelming reaction he's had from his first interview."

Holyfield, who is still hoping to win the heavyweight championship for what would be a record fifth time, hasn't commented publicly on what he plans to say or do on Friday, so it remains to be seen whether Winfrey will host the show ... or referee it.

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