Date: 9th November 1996
Venue: MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Title: WBA World Heavyweight Title
Promoted by: Don King Productions
Tv: Showtime PPV
( 45 - 1 - 0 )
Weight: 222 lbs
( 32 - 3 - 0 )
Weight: 215 lbs
The crowd of 16,103 that saw the Tyson Holyfield fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas that night will never forget it. Holyfield started as a 25-1 underdog and yet by fight time those odds had dropped to 5-1. Bookmakers everywhere awaited the result in close proximity to a restroom.
Those in the MGM Grand Garden Arena saw one of the best starts in a world heavyweight title fight in living memory as Tyson tried everything he could to blast his opponent away while Holfield refused to take a backward step and met the shorter Tyson in mid-ring, firing back when possible.
The second round proved to be pivotal as Holyfield backed Tyson to the ropes and landed a hurtful left hook that staggered 'The baddest man on the planet.' Tyson would later state that he "blacked out" for the rest of the fight, meaning, he had no recollection of the fight after that Holyfield left hook. Shame, because it was a war to savour.
Both fought on even terms in the early rounds but Holyfield started to build a lead after the 4th, never backing up from Tyson's assaults, but stepping around and countering with hurtful shots. Still, Tyson took everything without any trouble.
In the 6th, Tyson was cut over the left eye with an unintentional head butt and dropped by a left that actually hit him on the shoulder. By now it was Holyfield's fight and in the 10th he battered Tyson with a succession of shots that forced Tyson to the ropes. As the bell sounded Tyson looked ready for the taking and 37 seconds into the 11th round referee Mitch Halpern wrapped his arms around Tyson signalling the end of the fight.