Mike Tyson has turned down a fight against rival Evander Holyfield as he fears being knocked out by the former world champion, according to Triller’s Ryan Kavanaugh.
Triller’s co-founder Ryan Kavanaugh says Mike Tyson has turned down a “massive payday” for a fight with Evander Holyfield as he fears being knocked out.
Holyfield is making a return to the ring this weekend as he fights former UFC star Vitor Belfort.
The 58-year-old stepped up on a week’s notice to replace fellow boxing great Oscar De La Hoya after he contracted Covid-19.
Tyson and Holyfield have fought twice before. In 1996 Holyfield defeated Tyson by TKO and their rematch in 1997 saw Tyson disqualified for infamously biting a chunk out of Holyfield’s ear.
And Kavanaugh said that he reached out to Tyson about a fight with Holyfield.
“We have an offer out to Mike,” Kavanaugh told Sky Sports.
“We have been told that he is scared to fight Evander. There has been back and forth hoopla, there is a massive payday ready for Mike to fight on Thanksgiving. A massive payday, one of his biggest!
“But we can’t seem to push it along. Now I have heard, from a number of reliable sources, that Mike is too scared. He thinks Evander would knock him out.
“I wouldn’t ask nobody to do anything they don’t want to do. But it’s for charity. If we can work something out that works for everybody then it’s a win-win-win.”
Tyson fought for the first time in 15 years last November when he took on fellow boxing legend Roy Jones Jr in an exhibition bout.
Kavanaugh also revealed that Tyson is trying to set up a fight against Lennox Lewis.
Lewis knocked out Tyson in their heavyweight title fight back in 2002. Lewis retired after defeating Vitali Klitschko the following year and has not fought since.
The last year has seen a rise in exhibition fights and celebrity boxing, with social media stars such as the Paul brothers, Jake and Logan, being at the forefront of it.
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Tyson supports the rise of YouTube boxing and wants to launch a tournament with a “world champion” belt for the fighters.
He said: “That’s just what it is, it’s the changing of the guard, and these TikTok guys are part of it. You understand me, right? They’re a part of it.
“Just imagine this, ten years from now; I want to have all the YouTube boxers have a tournament and find out who will be the champion of the world, of that world.
“But that’s what they do, they have another belt, it’ll be whatever belt they want it to be, and then they put that up against the boxing belt.
“It’s all hype, hype sells fights, fights don’t sell fights, hype sells fights.”