Evander Holyfield to follow Mike Tyson in returning to the ring

An undisputed champion at both cruiserweight and heavyweight, it is nine years since the four-time heavyweight world champion Evander Holyfield last fought.

Evander Holyfield is an undisputed champion at both cruiserweight and heavyweight.   -  Getty Images

Evander Holyfield has followed his old rival Mike Tyson in announcing he is planning to make a boxing comeback at the age of 57.

Holyfield has not fought since May 2011, when he knocked out Brian Nielsen in his 57th professional outing and he retired in 2014.

An undisputed champion at both cruiserweight and heavyweight, Holyfield remains the only four-time heavyweight world champion.

READ | Joshua bout may not be behind closed doors: Promoter

Now Holyfield has revealed he is returning to the ring for exhibition bouts to raise money for the charity Unite 4 Our Fight.

"Are you ready? The moment you've all been waiting for... The Champ is back," the American wrote on Twitter. "I'd like to announce that I will be making a comeback to the ring. I will be fighting in exhibition matches for a great cause."

Unite 4 Our Fight is providing funds to give young people "social and emotional development education" during the coronavirus pandemic.

In a message on their website, Holyfield added: "I'm training to promote a charity that's very close to me. Our #Unite4OurFight campaign aims to fill the void the pandemic has created on access to resources our youth needs for emotional development and education."

READ | Boxing will be back in June, says promoter Arum

Holyfield's announcement comes after Tyson, who he fought twice in the mid-1990s, recently announced he wanted to make a comeback and fight in charity exhibition bouts.

The first fight between the two in 1996 saw Holyfield stop Tyson in the penultimate round to win his WBA heavyweight belt.

The two met again in a much-anticipated rematch the following year in a bout that was ended when Tyson was disqualified for biting Holyfield's ear in one of the most bizarre sporting moments in history.