Have you ever been so enraged by your competitors that the only appropriate course of action you have at your disposal is to attempt to bite their ear off?
Nope – us neither!
Nevertheless, former world boxing heavyweight champion Mike Tyson took a less than professional approach to dealing with the competition in his WBA World Heavyweight bout against Evander Holyfield in 1997.
The match was billed as “The Sound and the Fury” but afterwards became infamously referred to as “The Bite Fight” after Tyson bit off part of Holyfield’s ear.
Tyson was disqualified from the match and ended up losing his boxing license, but it was reinstated a year later.
Tyson had fought Holyfield seven months earlier in Las Vegas and ‘Iron Mike’ was making his first defence of the WBA championship he had won from Bruce Seldon. Holyfield was a significant underdog despite being a former champion and entered the match after several rather lackluster performances since returning to the ring in 1995 after a brief retirement.
As the third round was about to commence, Tyson came out of his corner without his mouth guard. The referee ordered Tyson back to his corner to reinsert it. Tyson inserted the mouthpiece, got back into position and the match resumed. With forty seconds remaining in the round Holyfield held Tyson in a clinch and Tyson rolled his head above Holyfield’s shoulder and bit his right ear removing a one-inch piece of cartilage in the process and spitting it onto the ring floor.
Tyson subsequently asserted that the injury to Holyfield’s ear was the result of a punch but Holyfield told the press that Tyson bit him because he knew he was going to get knocked out and he chose to lose in a disqualification instead of getting knocked out.
Whatever the motivation for such an act, have a look at the video clip below and ask yourself whether you would feel justified in biting off a competitor’s body part to try and gain an advantage in your respective marketplace.
Needs must and all that………