LOS ANGELES: More than a decade after their infamous “Bite Fight,” heavyweights Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield came face to face on Friday on an episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show.
The influential US television host said Holyfield had sought out the meeting after seeing her recently aired interview with Tyson.
Holyfield said he hoped his appearance on the programme with Tyson would demonstrate to young people involved in violence that reconciliation is possible.
“I wanted to tell the kids if we can come together, we know you can come together,” Holyfield said.
The meeting, before an audience at Winfrey’s Chicago studio, was marked by the kind of mutual admiration that once seemed unthinkable between the former rivals.
Tyson, already seated and talking with Winfrey, rose and shook hands with Holyfield when he strode onto the stage.
He said it was the first chance for the two to talk at length since Tyson was disqualified for biting off a piece of Holyfield’s right ear in a World Boxing Association heavyweight title fight in Las Vegas on June 28, 1997.
Asked by Winfrey if he was still missing part of his ear, a smiling Holyfield gestured toward the top of his ear and said, “Just a little bit, not much.”
In their earlier interview Tyson, 43, told Winfrey that his initial apology in the wake of the biting incident was insincere.
He didn’t quite apologise on Friday, but said he was full of admiration for Holyfield.
“I want the world to know this is a beautiful guy,” Tyson said. “I just want you to know it’s just been a pleasure ... being acquainted with you.” — AFP