On This Day – The bookmakers suffer ‘devastating’ losses as 25-1 underdog Evander Holyfield beats Mike Tyson

Evander Holyfield bullies Mike Tyson to defeat in stunning victory

November 9, 1996; MGM Grand, Las Vegas

EVANDER HOLYFIELD was deemed shot by the time he challenged Mike Tyson for the WBA heavyweight title. He’d been stopped in the Riddick Bowe rubber match and looked awful while defeating Bobby Czyz. Tyson, meanwhile, was supposedly back to his ferocious best. It became clear early on that reports of Holyfield’s demise were premature as he stood tall and matched Tyson punch-for-punch. What followed was a titanic battle where there could be only one winner.

DID YOU KNOW? It was reported by the Las Vegas Sun that punters were so tempted by the huge (and ludicrous) 25/1 odds against Holyfield that the former champion was as low as 5/1 by the opening bell. Rob Terry, Race and Sports Book Director at Boulder Station, said the losses for bookies were “devastating”.

WATCH OUT FOR: Tyson repeatedly trying to flatten Holyfield in the opening round with one right hand. The first one takes Holyfield by surprise but the rest do not. Just by pushing Tyson back in that first round, Holyfield won a significant mental battle.

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