Evander Holyfield Recalls Sparring 17-Year-Old Mike Tyson: "They Said Someone Was Going to Get Hurt"



Evander Holyfiend has revealed what happened when he and a teenage Mike Tyson were forcibly separated during a violent sparring session.


The pair collided in a pair of heavyweight world-title bouts in 1996 and 1997 but back in 1984, when they were both US amateurs, they first fought. As recounted on talkSPORT, the pair had a sparring session at the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs - which was halted in the very first round.


"Me and Tyson were buddies," said Holyfield, who fought at light-heavyweight as an amateur, while 'Iron Mike' was a fully-fledged heavyweight. "Tyson knocked out his sparring partners all the time so he didn't have no sparring partners.


"I said, 'Do you wanna spar?' He said, 'Hey man, you're my friend, I don't wanna hurt you.'


"I was kinda offended because he was 17, I'm 21. I'm a grown man. I said, 'What are you talking about? You hurting me?'"


The two future heavyweight greats then stepped into the ring together to trade blows with their 16-ounce gloves - but not before Holyfield had waved away the notion of Tyson boxing without using his powerful right hand.


"They told him, 'Use your left hand only," Holyfield told the LA Times. "But I said, 'No way, use both hands.'


"He hit me with one right hand on the arm and near knocked me across the ring, but every time he stopped punching I'd get my combinations off on him.


"I know I threw more punches at him than anybody else who sparred with him."


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