Mike Tyson and Michael Jordan are two of the biggest athletes in the world in terms of stature and legacy. They were both feared in their prime as athletes. MJ had an aura and personality which could make anyone in the world feel intimidated, whereas Tyson was branded as “the baddest man on the planet.”
Both of them revolutionized the sport they played. Michael Jordan influenced the NBA by his style, quality, and dominance. Mike Tyson was not the biggest in build, he had hand speed and power that lead to him becoming the youngest Heavyweight champion in boxing history. Tyson and Jordan instilled fear and intimidation in their respective opponents.
According to Tyson, his trainer Cus D’Amato encouraged Tyson’s ego to make him confident and perform at the highest level. He was never able to turn it off. Tyson would take an adversarial attitude toward anyone he sensed was a threat.
They both once dated the same woman, actress Robin Givens. Tyson was married to Givens for just over a year in 1988-1989. After Mike and Robin separated in 1989, Givens dated Michael Jordan. This did not sit well with Mike Tyson.
Holloway and Tyson attended a dinner at a Chicago restaurant with former Chicago Bears head coach Mike Ditka, former Super Bowl MVP Richard Dent, Don King, and Michael Jordan. The dinner is said to have taken place not long after Tyson and Givens divorced and Iron Mike wasn’t handling things well. Holloway claims that Tyson was sitting across from Jordan drinking a Long Island Iced Tea and that he was trying to keep Tyson in check as things don’t go well when he’s drinking. But then it happened. Tyson knew that Jordan had dated Givens at one point and apparently let MJ have it. He even got into Ditka and Dent as well. This is how Holloway says things went down.
“I’m telling the server to water his drinks down ‘cause I see where this is going. Mike stares across the table at Michael Jordan. He says, ‘Hey man, you think I’m stupid? I know you f—-d with my b—h.’
“Jordan looks like he just seen a ghost. ‘I know you messed with her. You can tell me.’
Jordan, it’s obvious he just wants to get up and run. He wants no part of this. Mike turns to Ditka. ‘Man, you think somebody scared of you, all that racist s–t you been talking?’ He says to Dent, ‘Y’all scared of this damn white man, Richard? He ain’t nobody. You gonna let him talk that way?’
It was a circus, for real, that night. Don King trying to change the subject. Me and John trying to hold Mike down. Mike telling everyone he’s going to bust Jordan’s a–. Jordan’s dressed sharp as always and he can’t get out of there fast enough.”
If Jordan did not get out of there, it would have been a bad night for him. Iron Mike would have KO’d him.
Photo courtsey of The Sports Rush