Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield fought twice as professionals, and their second bout produced one of the sport's most bizarre moments. Tyson, who had lost to Holyfield by TKO in their first fight, was disqualified for biting the champion's ear. The seeds to these victories for Holyfield might have been planted many years earlier when both fighters were amateurs trying to make the U.S. Olympic team in 1984. They had two encounters in which Holyfield showed he wasn't going to back down from Tyson, despite his intimidating reputation. This excerpt of The Bite Fight by George Willis reveals how those scenarios unfolded.
The rivalry between the country boy from Georgia and the street thief from Brownsville took root during the lead-up to the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.
It was part of Cus D'Amato's master plan for Tyson to win the gold medal and stand atop a podium the way Olympic heroes Muhammad Ali, Floyd Patterson, Joe Frazier, and George Foreman had done in the past.
Olympic Gold would be as valuable as winning a world title as a professional, if not more. The status that came with winning such a prize endured a lifetime.