Heavyweight legend Evander Holyfield looks to have found an opponent for his long speculated return to the ring, but it won’t be Mike Tyson like many had believed it would be.
According to reports from Sports Illustrated, later confirmed by The Athletic, Holyfield will take on Ireland’s Kevin McBride, who ended Tyson’s career in 2005 with a stoppage victory, in an exhibition match on June 5. The bout will take place on Triller’s pay-per-view card headlined by Teofimo Lopez’s defence of his unified lightweight belts against George Kamboso Jr.
It’s been nearly a decade since Holyfield, 58, last fought, retiring after a win over Brian Nielsen in May 2011. The former four-time heavyweight world champion and undisputed cruiserweight champion has been teasing a return to the ring for some time now and ‘The Real Deal’ looked destined for a third fight with Tyson, whom he beat in twice in the 1990s and launched his only comeback last year in an exhibition with Roy Jones Jr.
Tyson even announced that the fight was scheduled for May 29. Speaking on Instagram Live last month, Tyson said, “I just want everybody to know, the fight is on with me and Holyfield.
“Holyfield’s a humble man, I know that. And he’s a man of God, but I’m God’s man.
“And, listen, I’m going to be successful on May 29th.”
The two camps had reportedly also gone back and forth on a deal at the start of the year, with the Holyfield side claiming that Team Tyson had rejected a $25million offer.
Like Holyfield, McBride, a 1992 Olympian for Ireland, also retired in 2011 after suffering a fourth round KO to Poland’s Mariusz Wach in Connecticut. After beating Tyson, he fought eight more times, winning two and losing six.
Holyfield isn’t the only boxing legend set to make a return this year. A second exhibition match for Tyson looks inevitable, even if it wont be against Holyfield (yet), and eleven-time world titlist and six-weight world champion Oscar De La Hoya has also confirmed that on July 3 he is returning to the ring at the age of 48, with a fight against a “big name” UFC star believed to be in the works.