Evander Holyfield was eyeing an exhibition recently with Mike Tyson, but negotiations eventually slipped through the cracks once Tyson’s demands reached over $25 million.
Holyfield now has a real deal with the last man who beat Tyson.
Holyfield will face Kevin McBride in an eight-round exhibition match on June 5 in the chief support bout before unified lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez Jr. faces George Kambosos Jr. on Triller pay-per-view.
“We went through all the heavyweights but ultimately decided who better than the guy who knocked Mike Tyson into retirement,” Triller owner Ryan Kavanaugh told BoxingScene.com.
Kavanaugh said Roy Jones Jr. and Shannon Briggs were just two of the other opponents who were considered for Evander Holyfield.
The bout with McBride will unfold over two-minute rounds and without headgear. The venue for the event has not been announced yet, but it’s slated to take place somewhere in the Miami area. Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated first reported the Holyfield-McBride matchup would take place on Sunday.
Holyfield (44-10-2), a former undisputed cruiserweight champion and a four-time heavyweight champion, has not fought since 2011, a TKO win over Brian Nielson. The Hall of Fame fighter was on a collision course to face Tyson, but Iron Mike still has some contractual issues to hammer out with Triller following his exhibition with Jones in November.
Tyson publicly distanced himself from Triller last month and claimed he will never do business with them again. The social app, however, has stated that it owns first and last rights of refusal for Tyson’s bouts till November 2023.
McBride’s (35-10-1, 29 KOs) finest hour as a professional came in 2005 when he scored a sixth-round stoppage over a then-fading Tyson.
The little-known McBride never regained the luster from that night, finishing his career with a 2-6 record before retiring. He also has not fought as a professional since 2011, a KO loss to Mariusz Wach.
McBride will turn 48 years old on May 10. Holyfield turned 58 in October.
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com