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Ear-biting forgiven? Tyson to present Holyfield at Hall of Fame

By Jill Martin, CNN
July 23, 2014 -- Updated 0956 GMT (1756 HKT)
Referee Lane Mills stepped in after Mike Tyson bit Evander Holyfield's ear in the third round of their 1997 WBA Heavyweight Championship Fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV.
Referee Lane Mills stepped in after Mike Tyson bit Evander Holyfield's ear in the third round of their 1997 WBA Heavyweight Championship Fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Mike Tyson will present Evander Holyfield at induction into Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame
  • In a memorable 1997 boxing match, Tyson bit off a piece of Holyfield's ear
  • Apparently bygones are bygones; they appeared in a recent TV commercial together
  • Others being inducted include George Foreman, Sonny Liston, Joe Louis, Jack Dempsey

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(CNN) -- Back when Mike Tyson bit off a piece of Evander Holyfield's ear in 1997, it seemed unlikely the two boxers could ever reconcile. But apparently, time heals all wounds.

In a reunion that was once unthinkable, Tyson will be Holyfield's presenter for his induction into the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame. The Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame made the announcement on its website.

Tyson will deliver the presenting speech for the former heavyweight champion. The ceremony will take place August 9 at the New Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas.

Tyson calls the opportunity to present Holyfield a "privilege and high honor."

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Holyfield's response to Tyson presenting him: "That is great!"

Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame president and founder Rich Marotta says that Tyson presenting Holyfield is "sheer magic."

"This is the kind of thing we showed is possible in boxing last year at our inaugural induction ceremony," Marotta said. "Former and even current rivals coming together under the same roof to celebrate boxing. Everyone checks those rivalries at the door."

In November 1996, Holyfield defeated Tyson at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas by an 11th-round TKO. Their highly anticipated rematch was in June 1997 at the same venue. In the third round of that bout, Tyson shocked fans around the world when he bit off a piece of Holyfield's right ear. Tyson was disqualified from the fight.

In the years that have followed the ear-biting, Holyfield and Tyson have been on better terms. They've even been in a recent television commercial together. In a humorous Foot Locker ad, Tyson says, "I'm sorry, Evander," handing him a box that is supposed to have the piece of Holyfield's ear in it, saying he kept it in formaldehyde.

Included in this year's Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame class are Holyfield, George Foreman, Roberto Duran, Joe Louis, Sonny Liston, Cornelius Boza Edwards, Jack Dempsey and Archie Moore. Tyson is a member of the inaugural class of 2013.

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