June 27, 2017
On this date in 1997, Mike Tyson bit a chunk out of Evander Holyfield’s ear during their “Sound and the Fury” rematch/title fight in Las Vegas.
While most people fixate on that chomping moment as the most memorable aspect of June 28, 1997, every time I see it replayed, I think of something that happened in the aftermath.
Specifically, Tyson’s soon-to-be-fired manager John Horne granted Jim Gray an interview. Strike that. He didn’t just grant Jim Gray an interview. He granted him the best damn interview in the history of interviews.
Obviously, tensions were high in the aftermath of that whole ear-biting thing, so it’s not as if Horne – who’s said to have not treated Tyson well – had much time to prepare. (And really, how can you prepare for post-cannibalism airtime?)
What ensued was sheer madness, a delusional denial of reality that unfolded before millions of eyes.
Horne starts off by declining comment on the bite. He hadn’t had time to review the tape before he stepped before the bright live-camera lights.
He then deflected the focus upon the fact that Holyfield had allegedly head-butted Tyson throughout their previous meetings. In Horne’s estimation, Holyfield had turned a prize fight into a street brawl.
Be that as it may or may not, a stream-of-consciousness tsunami then flooded the airwaves.
“All I know is Mike got a cut over his eye, three inches long. Evander got a little nip on his head. It don’t mean nothing!” exclaimed Horne for the viewing world to see. “He (Holyfield) jumped around like a little b----! That’s what he did!”
Yup. He mocked Holyfield's reaction to losing flesh, and staunching maintained that Tyson shouldn't have gotten disqualified for said behavior.
“I would have like to see (the referee) let the fight go,” Horne said. “The ear ain’t got nothing to do with this fight. It ain’t got nothing to do with his arms, his legs, his head, his body, nothing.”
In all fairness, ears do not have anything to do with arms and legs. They do, however, have prominent placement upon the head, which is an integral part of the body. But I digress.
After Gray explained that Tyson had actually gotten disqualified for the second time he bit Tyson, Don King shows up on screen, thus ending the magical Horne moment.
Anyway, watch it below. If you haven't before seen it, I'm jealous.
If it too a human being biting another human being's ear to make this interview to happen, it was savagery of a societally beneficial nature:
Postscript: Horne has essentially disappeared from the public eye, but he did grant FoxSports an interview a few years back. And yes, he still goes on defensive tangents.