Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa is seen here inspecting the ear of former world boxing champion Evander Holyfield when the latter called on the President today. Boxer Mike Tyson bit Holyfield’s ear during a match in 1997.
Holyfield is in Sri Lanka as part of the Global Peace Initiative and he had also visited the country in 2005 to assist people affected by the 2004 tsunami.
Holyfield moved up to heavyweight in 1988, winning his first six fights, all by stoppage. On October 25, 1990, Holyfield knocked out heavyweight champion James “Buster” Douglas, to claim the WBC, WBA, & IBF heavyweight belts (undisputed world heavyweight championship).
He retained the Heavyweight crown three times, which included victories over former champions George Foreman and Larry Holmes, before suffering his first professional loss to Riddick Bowe on November 13, 1992. Holyfield regained the title in a rematch one year later, beating Bowe by majority decision for the WBA and IBF titles. Holyfield later lost the titles to Michael Moorer on April 22, 1994, by Majority Decision.
Holyfield was forced to retire in 1994, only to return a year later. On November 9, 1996, he went on to defeat Mike Tyson by eleventh round technical knockout to win the WBA title, in what was named fight of the year and upset of the year for 1996 by The Ring magazine. Evander Holyfield became the first Heavyweight since Muhammad Ali to win the World title three times.
Seven months later, Holyfield won the 1997 rematch against Tyson, when the latter was disqualified in round three for biting off part of Holyfield’s ear. During his reign as champion, he also avenged his loss to Michael Moorer, when he stopped him in eight rounds to win the IBF belt.
In 1999, he faced Lennox Lewis in a split draw, but was defeated in a rematch eight months later. The following year, he won a unanimous decision over John Ruiz for the vacant WBA heavyweight championship, becoming the first boxer to win a version of the heavyweight title four times. Holyfield would lose a rematch with Ruiz seven months later and would face him for the third time in a draw.
Holyfield is still an active Boxer as of 2011 and has a professional record of 44 wins, 10 losses, 1 draw and 1 no contest. He is ranked #77 on Ring Magazine’s list of 100 greatest punchers of all time.