Blog: Mike Tyson at The Bite Fight Launch Party at Bounce Sporting Club
On June 28th, 1997 the face of boxing would be forever changed with a bite that would be seen and heard worldwide. It was a night of infamy when “Iron” Mike Tyson bit a chunk out of Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield’s ear during the third round of their classic Heavyweight bout. Since then, the fight itself and Tyson’s career have been re-evaluated and examined in hindsight to no end by talking head types, sportswriters, and even know-it-all employees at the workplace water cooler. New York Post writer George Willis collected every ounce of the event’s wicked history and authored the impressive new book “The Bite Fight: Tyson, Holyfield and the Night That Changed Boxing Forever.” And to launch the book’s release in style, Willis and his very special guest Mike Tyson, convened at the popular Bounce Sporting Club on Wednesday night for a book release party unlike any in recent memory.
At 6pm Willis and “Iron Mike” came through the front doors and were instantly mobbed by flashing cameras and adoring fans. Tyson appeared to be in very high spirits with a huge smile on his face as he joked with both Willis and the camp of journalists. At one point The Champ even began busting out some dance moves just as he overheard one of his favorite hip hip songs blaring over Bounce’s stereo system, to everyone’s enjoyment. After members of the media were able to shoot a barrage of flashbulbs at the champ, Tyson and Willis sat down for a quick and interactive Q&A session.
The most pressing question regarded the infamous bite from the 1997 fight. The journalist asking had a simple question – “Why did you do it?” Tyson’s response couldn’t have been more fitting for the now reformed bad boy boxer when he said, “I tried to head butt him (Holyfield) or do anything to get him down. That didn’t work so I bit his ear.” The session allowed Tyson to show off his laid back side, keeping it mostly light while showing just how far he’s come since his more vicious days as the pulverizing boxing wunderkind. And from roles in “The Hangover” movies, a foundation in his name (Mike Tyson Cares) and his one-man Broadway show, it’s clear that Tyson is finally fully in charge of his celebrity image.
As the evening rolled on, we enjoyed the fantastic hospitality Bounce Sporting Club was providing to all in the house, gulping down complimentary beers from Tecate and savory slider burgers as we tried to contain the excitement from this outstanding event. George Willis’ “The Bite Fight: Tyson, Holyfield and the Night That Changed Boxing Forever” is available now wherever books are sold. As you read it prepare to be blown away by the nearly 100 interviews and in-depth perspectives of the fight that turned boxing on it’s ear from those directly involved. Whether a boxing fan or a history buff, this is truly a must read that encapsulates the effect that a single sporting event can have on the relevance on the rest of our culture.
- Jay Rubin