Video: Back in the day: The Irish News, June 30 1997: Mike Tyson disqualified for biting ear of Evander Holyfield

BITE NIGHT.....Mike Tyson launching his biting assault on Evander Holyfield during their World Heavyweight title clash in Las Vegas in June 1997

MIKE Tyson was yesterday facing up to a career in tatters after being disqualified for biting Evander Holyfield’s ear during their WBA title rematch in Las Vegas.

Tyson – already with no heavyweight title – could end up with no purse and no licence either following the shocking incident, which left part of Holyfield’s right ear on the canvas.

The Nevada State Athletic Commission immediately suspended Tyson’s licence and his estimated £20million purse pending an inquiry.

Meanwhile, Holyfield is waiting to see if plastic surgeons have been successful in re-attaching the missing part his ear.

The incidents which led to the termination of the bout occurred near the end of the third round, until which point Holyfield had dictated the bout by bullying Tyson around the ring.

A cut had opened above Tyson’s right eye and he had regularly complained to referee Mills Lane about the champion butting him.

Tyson then bit Holyfield’s right ear and spat part of it out, to the horror of the crowd and millions watching on TV, making Holyfield leap backwards in agony with blood streaming from an open wound.

Lane consulted with Marc Ratner of the Nevada Commission before deducting two points from Tyson, but after the restart the challenger made a similar lunge at Holyfield’s other ear and Lane had no choice but to disqualify Tyson.




CHRISTY Roche was crowned king of the Curragh yesterday when he won a pulsating Budweiser Irish Derby on Desert King.

The 47 year old Bansha-born rider was winning this prestigious race for the third time.

For his young trainer Aidan O’Brien (27) this was a fantastic day as he had completed the Irish 2,000 Guineas, 1,000 Guineas and now the Derby on what he called a dream horse.

“He is a horse who just wants to be helped along,” he said in reference to Desert King’s last race at Royal Ascot where he finished down the field.

For colourful owners Michael Tabor and Mrs John Magnier it was compensation for Entrepreneur’s dismal showing in the Epsom Derby.


IRELAND turned on the sunshine golf at Portmarnock yesterday to finish the European Team Championship in a blaze, slamming Sweden 41/2 to 11/2 but it was little consolation for blowing their chances of taking the title on Saturday.

Against eventual winners Spain in the semi-finals, Ireland looked set for victory after winning both morning foursomes but then fell apart in the singles.

All that was required were two wins from five matches but the Irish couldn’t even manage one with only Garth McGimpsey getting a half – called in from the 16th as the overall result was known.

The Spanish beat holders Scotland in the final after sharing the morning foursomes by 4-2 with one match halved.

It was down to the wire with Irish youth champion Steven Young demolishing tearful Sergio Garcia, the new Ballesteros, by a massive 7 & 6 in the top match but that was all the Scots had to celebrate.

Yesterday, maybe it was because the pressure was really off Ireland as finishing third or fourth made little difference but the ‘greens’ shot back with a vengeance to show what they are really made of.

Jody Fanagan and Noel Fox won in the foursomes – they were three under par – and the Irish then demolished the Swedes in the afternoon.



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