In 1997, Mike Tyson notoriously bit a chunk out of fellow fighter Evander Holyfield’s ear during their contentious rematch for the WBA heavyweight championship. It was a stain on Tyson’s legacy, but now he’s actually cashing in big time on the incident. Tyson’s cannabis company, Tyson 2.0, has been selling edible cannabis gummies called Mike Bites, and they are shaped like ears with a bite mark.
They are selling so well, the Brownsville, Brooklyn, native is expected to rake in millions this year from his cannabis business.
“I got fined $3 million for that and, I might have made $30 million since that happened,” Tyson said in an interview with “Checc’n In Podcast with Big U” last year. “From that bite. You know how important that was for people!”
He added, “So many people want me to bite their ear.”
The former heavyweight champ, whose net worth is estimated to be $15 million, launched Tyson 2.0 in 2021 and debuted Mike Bites in March 2022.
Inside Tyson 2.0
Co-founded by Tyson, Chad Bronstein, and led by CEO Adam Wilks, Tyson 2.0 partners with cannabis operators to provide a suite of products, which are available across dispensaries and retail locations in 24 states and select provinces across Canada.
In October 2021, Tyson 2.0 had raised $7 million in seed round funding, which was used to cultivate agreements, develop in-house strains, and build a sales team. In June 2022, the company closed of its $9M Series A funding round.
“I got to know Mike as an entrepreneur and investor, and it was clear to me that his relationship with cannabis was a critical component in his own life. We saw an opportunity to create Tyson 2.0 and develop brands and products nationally,” said Bronstein, who is also the founder of the cannabis marketing platform Fyllo.
In November 2022, Tyson and pro wrestling legend Ric Flair who sells products through his cannabis line Ric Flair Drip, jointly formed Carma Holdings LLC as a parent company for both their brands.
Tyson 2.0 and Ric Flair Drip have generated $50 million in revenue in the past year, and Carma’s projection for 2023 is $160 million, according to a release from the company.
Cashing in on Mike Bites
The Mike Bites name is a pun based on the Tyson-Holyfield 1997 fight – originally called the Sound and the Fury match and afterward was referred to as The Bite Fight.
After biting Holyfield on both ears, Tyson’s boxing license was revoked by the Nevada State Athletic Commission and he was fined $3 million plus legal fees. On appeal, the commission voted 4–1 to reinstate Tyson’s license on Oct. 18, 1998.
Doing Business With Holyfield
The two men settled their differences during a 2009 episode of “Oprah.” The retired boxers are even doing business together. In November 2022, they introduced “Holy Ears,” a line of THC- and Delta 8-infused edibles. The line is under the Carma Holdings umbrella.
“From Mike Bites to Holy Ears, now cannabis fans around the world can experience the same wellness benefits that plant-based products have brought me,” Tyson said in a statement, adding that it is a “privilege to reunite” with Holyfield.
“Mike and I have a long history of competition and respect for one another. And that night changed both of our lives. Back then, we didn’t realize that even as power athletes, we were also in a lot of pain,” said Holyfield, who will introduce his own cannabis line this year through Carma. “Now, nearly 20 years later, we have the opportunity to share the medicine we really needed throughout our careers.”