Mike Tyson's Zombie-Like Ear Biting Was 15 Years Ago Today

With the recent rash of zombie-esque crimes grabbing headlines around the world, HuffPost Weird News would be remiss if we forgot to recognize the anniversary of Mike Tyson's scandalous case of ear-biting terror.

The infamous incident occurred 15 years ago today -- on June 28, 1997 -- at the Las Vegas MGM Grand Garden Arena. Tyson, the former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, was matched against then-WBA title holder Evander Holyfield. The fight, dubbed "The Sound and the Fury," was broadcast on pay-per-view and set a new record, having been purchased by 1.9 million households.

The match -- a bout that would be remembered as one of the most controversial events in the history of boxing -- started off with Holyfield getting the upper hand in rounds one and two. This seemingly ordinary fight, however, quickly took a turn for the extraordinary in the third round, when Tyson spat out his mouthpiece and bit Holyfield's left ear. Referee Mills Lane initially decided against disqualifying Tyson, but quickly changed his mind when, after the fight resumed, Tyson bit Holyfield's right ear. The bite was so severe that a piece of Holyfield's ear was later found on the ring floor.

An early indication of a global zombie infestation?

While Tyson's acts may be viewed as mindless, he was apparently not a flesh-hungry reanimated corpse.

Fifteen months later, in October 1998, Tyson appeared before the Nevada State Athletic Commission to have his boxing license, which had been suspended after the Holyfield fight, reinstated. Tyson, who had been undergoing psychotherapy, said he had lost control in the ring when Holyfield head-butted him. He said he had reverted to being a street fighter.

"There is nothing wrong with me," Tyson said at the hearing. 'Please don't torture me anymore."

Tyson was not involved any additional flesh-biting incidents after the Nevada fight, but he did once hint at the possibility of cannibalism.

"I want your heart," the boxer told heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis in 2000. "I want to eat your children."

Tyson added: "I want to kill people. I want to rip their stomachs out and eat their children."

Tyson never ate a child or a heart (to the best of our knowledge), but his boxing career eventually fell into rot and ruin following a number of mediocre performances in the ring.

Despite his eventual retirement from boxing, the 45-year-old is apparently still full of spit and vinegar. In an April 2012 interview with Yahoo News, Tyson remarked on the controversial shooting of Trayvon Martin.

"It's a disgrace George Zimmerman hasn't been dragged out of his house and tied to a car and taken away. That's the only kind of retribution that people like that understand. It's a disgrace that man hasn't been shot yet. Forget about him being arrested--the fact that he hasn't been shot yet is a disgrace. That's how I feel personally about it," Tyson said.

While Tyson may not be a zombie, he does provide plenty of fodder for the argument that some sort of beast is lying within.