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Mike Tyson has earned a staggering £24 million from biting Evander Holyfield's ear

Mike Tyson has earned a staggering £24 million from biting Evander Holyfield's ear

Biting a man's ear off was one of the best business decisions he ever made.

Back in his heyday there were few boxing stars who could boast of being bigger names than Mike Tyson.

With a reputation as large as his comes plenty of big paydays and the bigger the fame, the larger the pile.

Tyson's most infamous fight was against Evander Holyfield, and if you recognise the name, then you probably know why that fight made the headlines for all the wrong reasons.

The two had fought previously, with Holyfield taking an unexpected victory and winning the WBA championship from Tyson, so they had a rematch pencilled in for 28 June, 1997.

Holyfield again proved to be the better of the two boxers in the ring that night and was having the best of the fight, but then during a clinch, Tyson bit his opponent on the right ear and spat out a chunk onto the canvas.

Mike Tyson might have been fined $3 million for biting an ear, but he's made much more than that since then.
REUTERS / Alamy Stock Photo

Tyson was penalised for the bite but the fight was allowed to continue, though it was called off and Tyson disqualified after he'd bitten Holyfield's other ear.

It's become a moment the boxer has been known for ever since, even though there have been other boxers who've tried to follow in his footsteps and also try to take a bite out of their opponents.

While Tyson was disqualified, had his boxing licence revoked and he was fined $3 million (£2.4 million) in the long run, it didn't turn out to be such a bad thing for his career money-wise.

The boxer has since boasted that he 'made $30 million (£24 million) since that happened from that bite' as lots of people wanted to buy into his ear-biting fame.

He said: "Do you know how important that was for people? White people wanting me to bite their ear. I was fined $3 million and I tripled that by just playing like I’m gonna bite ears and all this biting s**t."




While Tyson has been able to cash in on his ear-biting fame during his career, he did file for bankruptcy in 2003.

However, he was able to bounce back from that, and his ear-biting incident has been a key component of his financial recovery since his bankruptcy 20 years ago.

One of the products Tyson sells are edibles in the shape of ears, with the two boxers teaming up last year to launch HC and Delta-8 THC-infused edibles 'Holy Ears'.

At one point, there were even plans for Tyson and Holyfield to step back into the ring and have yet another boxing match with the proceeds going to charity but it hasn't happened, at least not yet.

Featured Image Credit: Sky Sports/Everett Collection Inc/Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: Mike Tyson, Celebrity, Boxing, Money