Boxing legends Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis have both named Evander Holyfield as the toughest opponent they faced in their careers.
Both boxers snubbed each other despite having one of the most heated rivalries in the history of boxing.
In 2002, Tyson and Lewis were involved in a blockbuster mega-fight in 2002 at The Pyramid in Memphis, Tennessee.
The ‘Lion’ ended up as the victory after handing Iron Mike a knockout in the eighth round of the bout.
The pair also clashed in back-to-back fights in 1996 and 1997, with the rematch ending in a disqualification after Tyson infamously bit Lewis’ ear.
However, both boxers picked Holyfied as the toughest opponent they ever faced in their respective careers.
“Great champion: chin, heart, determination, work ethic, demeanor,” Tyson told The Ring Magazine.
Lewis also stated in an Instagram post: “People seem to be genuinely surprised when I tell them [Holyfield] was my toughest opponent, not to be confused with my toughest fight, which was [Ray] Mercer, but when you really dive into why that is, it actually makes a lot of sense.”
“Holyfield, like me, has an extensive amateur pedigree that has served him well throughout his professional career.
“He started boxing at eight years old and was an Olympic bronze medalist in 1984. Before he moved up to the heavyweight division, he’s a man that cleared out the cruiserweight division to become the undisputed champion, and arguably the best ever, in that weight class,” he added.