Former heavyweight contender Brian Nielsen claims Mike Tyson only defeated him because of his consistent headbutts, labelling bitter rival Evander Holyfield as ‘a better fighter’.
The Dane was scheduled to face Tyson in 2001, just a month after 9/11, with the New Yorker in the midst of a bonkers two-year spell.
Brian Nielsen took on Mike Tyson in 2001 in Copenhagen
‘Iron Mike’ dropped the Dane before the fight was stopped in the seventh
The 35-year-old had experienced a controversial win over Julius Francis in Manchester and then bulldozed a referee during his victory over Lou Savarese in Glasgow.
Conversely, Nielsen was on a high having amassed a 62-1 record and was voted as the second most famous person in Denmark behind their queen.
However, the brawler felt he was denied the chance to take out ‘Iron Mike’ when they fought because of an illegal move by the former world champion.
“Tyson hit me four times with headbutts,” Nielsen told Sky Sports. “You saw my eye? He headbutted me.
Nielsen also fought Evander Holyfield in the latter stages of his career
Holyfield went 10 rounds with the 1992 Olympian
“If I didn’t have the scar on my eye, I would have beaten him. I’m sure of that.”
The heavyweight contender collected bronze in the 1992 Olympic Games and defeated a host of top names; James ‘Bonecrusher’ Smith, Tony Tubbs, Peter McNeeley, Tim Witherspoon and Larry Holmes were all dispatched by Nielsen in the latter stages of their careers.
However, the one opponent who always stood out for him was Evander Holyfield.
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“Tyson was one of the biggest heavyweights ever but Holyfield is a better fighter,” Nielsen added.
“He was a much better boxer and also had a good punch. I went 10 rounds with Holyfield.”