• April 11, 2024

The unfortunate fate of boxing legend was bitten ear by Mike Tyson: Half a billion dollars vanished, forced to sell house, ring, and even medals to repay debts.

It’s truly unbelievable. The legendary British boxer Evander Holyfield had once earned up to half a billion dollars in his career. And it’s equally astonishing that within a short period of time, he lost it all and fell into a deep pile of debts.

Even those who are not boxing fans are familiar with the name Evander Holyfield, a legendary fighter once hailed as the “most feared man on the planet” and also the famous victim of Mike Tyson in their 1997 showdown.

That fateful fight in Las Vegas ended after just 9 minutes due to Mike Tyson’s biting incident, where he bit off a piece of Holyfield’s right ear, spitting it onto the canvas. The doctors couldn’t reattach the severed piece of ear, and it mysteriously disappeared. However, at that moment, Holyfield didn’t pay much attention to it. Despite the setback, he still walked away with the WBC championship belt and a prize money of $35 million.

It took many years for Holyfield to feel regret. If only he could have kept that piece of ear and preserved it in formaldehyde, then 15 years later, he could have auctioned it off and earned a considerable sum.

In 2012, at the age of 50, Holyfield put up all of his possessions for auction in California. This included his 1984 Olympic Bronze Medal, 1983 Pan-Am Games Silver Medal, as well as the championship belts from WBC, WBA, and IBF.

But that’s not all. It also included 25 robes that Holyfield had worn, 27 pairs of gloves from his famous fights, numerous championship rings, and a commemorative ring for his three-time heavyweight boxing championship. Additionally, there were personal jewelry items and a red 1962 Chevrolet Corvette, which was produced in the same year as Holyfield’s birth.

The entire collection was valued at under 5 million USD, and Darren Julien, the President of the California auction house, jokingly remarked that if Holyfield had the piece of ear that Tyson bit off, he might have earned even more money.

Even after selling all of his priceless memorabilia, Holyfield still couldn’t repay his debts of nearly 20 million USD, including tax obligations. Prior to that, the boxing champion had used his 16,000-square-foot mansion in Fayetteville, Georgia as collateral to secure a loan of 10.9 million USD.

The mansion, originally valued at 30.8 million USD, was built in 1994 and featured 109 rooms, a large swimming pool, a bowling alley, and a dining room that could accommodate 100 people. However, due to his inability to repay the loan, the bank auctioned off the property and only fetched 5 million USD.

How did Holyfield manage to squander a massive fortune of nearly half a billion USD that he had built during his illustrious career, only to end up bankrupt and living in a cramped two-bedroom apartment?

The 16,000-square-foot mansion valued at 30.8 million USD owned by Holyfield.

That is the result of a series of mistakes by a champion mentality. Similar to Tyson, the opponent who took a piece of his ear, Holyfield felt that money came too easily after consecutive victories, so he spent it recklessly.

For a long time, Holyfield indulged himself in Las Vegas and Atlantic City casinos. Unfortunately, money doesn’t multiply on its own; instead, it gradually disappears. Looking back, he realized that he had burned hundreds of millions in those games of chance.

Furthermore, Holyfield engaged in extravagant and indulgent spending. The Georgia mansion is a prime example. After investing a large sum of money to purchase and build it, he had to spend over a million dollars each year just to maintain its operations.

All of Holyfield’s championship belts were eventually put up for auction.

When he started to see a significant decline in his finances, Holyfield unfortunately ventured into business ventures based on financial advice. He invested quite a lot in a record label and built brands such as Knockout 360 fire extinguishers and “Real Deal” BBQ grills and sauces. However, all of these ventures ended in disastrous failure.

Not only did people exploit Holyfield’s fame for their own gain, but even his own family members found ways to make money off him. His three marriages all ended in divorces, and with each divorce, his assets dwindled further.

His third wife was even worse, as she sued him on charges of domestic violence in front of their children. To avoid imprisonment, Holyfield had to pay a substantial amount of money and provide support for both his ex-wife and the children. It’s worth noting that he has a total of 11 children with 6 different women, and he had to support them all.

To earn money to repay his debts and support his children, the struggling man had to continue fighting until 2015 when he was already 52 years old. Towards the end of his career, Holyfield suffered more losses than wins, and he even faced ridicule from the public. But what could he do when he had to pay the price for years of reckless spending?


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