Sports - Boxing - Gossips Updated: April 20, 2024

Mike Tyson's infamous 'bite fight' wins poll for most shocking sporting moment in history

By Izuchukwu Okosi
April 20, 2024

Mike Tyson's infamous ear bite of Evander Holyfield in the June 28, 1997, world heavyweight boxing classic renamed 'the bite fight' has been voted by Britons in a survey highlighting the five sport's shocking moments in history.

The survey comes ahead of Tyson's July 18  fight against YouTuber Jake Paul, his return to the boxing ring after nearly four years ago.

Tyson was the world's youngest heavyweight champion and at the age of 20, he was already casting far in the minds of other heavy hitters.

However, the sun set on him when he faced Holyfield and in the second bout between both men within two years, resorted to biting the ear of his opponent.

Before the fight, Tyson had lost to Buster Douglas on February 11, 1990, in Tokyo, Japan. Two years later, he went to prison when he was accused of rape by Desiree Washington.


In 1995 Tyson was released and in 1996 he had his second defeat in professional boxing when Evander Holyfield knocked him out in 11 rounds of intense fight on November 9 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

That moment, according to the survey conducted by researchers at GrandNational.org.uk is the most shocking sporting moment in history by the respondents. The votes for Tyson's earbite garnered 25% of the total votes cast.

Media reports later revealed that the former heavyweight champion and his then physical trainer Tim Hallmark confirmed that it was lost in the ambulance in which Evander was being transported from the MGM to the hospital.

Coming in second place in the poll was Eric Cantona's karate kick on a Crystal Palace fan when he was a player of Manchester United.

The United icon was handed 120 hours of community service, which had initially been a two-week prison sentence before a successful appeal.


In third place was Leicester City's miraculous 2016 Premier League title triumph, which bookies had at 5000/1 before the start of their stunning season under Claudio Ranieri. Only second-placed Arsenal beat the Foxes home and away that season.

Germany's emphatic 7-1 hammering of World Cup favourites Brazil 7-1 at the 2014 World Cup, a result nobody saw coming before kick-off was closely in fourth place while the fifth on the poll was Diego Maradona's Hand of God goal that helped knock England out at the quarter-finals of the 1986 World Cu in Mexico.

The top five most shocking sporting moments:

1. Mike Tyson biting off Evander Holyfield’s ear, 25%

2. Eric Cantona kung-fu kicking a fan, 18%


3. Leicester City winning the Premier League, 18%

4. Brazil 1-7 Germany at the 2014 World Cup, 17%

5. Maradona’s Hand of God, 13%


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