Hollywood Actor Details Why Mike Tyson’s “Manufactured” Hatred Towards Evander Holyfield Cost Him the $280 Million Fights

Published 12/11/2023, 10:39 AM EST

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It was the first big fight after Mike Tyson came out of prison. He had previously suffered his first career loss at the hands of James Buster Douglas. On the other hand, Evander Holyfield had also lost to Michael Moorer and Riddick Bowe. As a result, fans were hyped for the fight. In the end, the boxing world witnessed the better fighter emerge after two nail-biting encounters that together generated a combined revenue of $280 million. However, Michael Jai White feels the reason behind Tyson’s loss wasn’t just Holyfield’s superior skills. 

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Rather, the Hollywood actor thinks Tyson’s manufactured hatred towards Holyfield was the real reason behind the losses. During an interview with Vlad TV, Michael Jai White detailed his take on ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson’s loss to Evander Holyfield, which cost him a $3 million fine.

Michael Jai White thinks it was a psychological issue between Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield

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During the interview, the host questioned White about his thoughts on the fights between Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield. In response, the actor/director claimed, “I felt like it was always a psychological thing.” The comment from White reminded the host about an incident between Holyfield and Mike.

“Tyson was basically like playing pool with everyone. But he was sort of bullying everyone and like taking turns – one wasn’t supposed to take turns, whatever. And Holyfield just went up to him just grabbed the pool stick away from him,” the host remembered. He went on to claim that Holyfield said, “You’re not doing this with me. I see how you’re doing everyone else.” According to the host, Tyson did not say anything to Holyfield after that incident, which kind of showed that Holyfield wasn’t afraid of Mike like others. 

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So, White highlighted the psychological angle while claiming Holyfield was like a big brother to Mike Tyson. “Holyfield was like a big brother to him and was very staunch,” said White. He went on to suggest that Mike had a lot going on, underscoring his release from prison and becoming a Muslim. In the interview, White also claimed Tyson didn’t seem like himself while talking about Holyfield, suggesting Tyson was manufacturing the hate between them. “When I first would see Tyson speak about Holyfield before their fights, it was like he seemed like he was manufacturing this hatred,” revealed White. 

According to White, during the first fight, Mike heard something in the third round he had never heard before, leading to his loss. “I feel like that third round Tyson heard something that he never heard before – the whole audience was cheering for Holyfield,” said White. This shift in public favor was psychologically debilitating for Mike, suggested White.

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Over two decades after the fight, Michael Jai White suggests Mike’s manufactured hate towards Holyfield caused him the loss. However, the theory is difficult to prove, to say the least. Do you think Mike lost the fight because of White’s reason? Or do you think Holyfield was just a better boxer? 

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Written by:

Sudeep Sinha

841Articles

One take at a time

The first time boxing captured my attention, it was because of a line I heard in the film 'Rocky Balboa', a film surrounding boxing. The line went like this, "But it ain't about how hard ya hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.
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Edited by:

Gokul Pillai

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