‘Jordan Looks Like He Just Seen A Ghost’ | Mike Tyson Reveals The Time He And Michael Jordan Almost Fought

Mike Tyson’s legend is cemented for many reasons.

From becoming the youngest-ever heavyweight championship of the world to then evolving into a pop culture icon, the name Tyson is synonymous with cultural relevance.

However, wearing the name Tyson has not come without its challenges for the former world champion pugilist. At his height, Tyson went through depression and utilized many coping methods such as drug use and more to deal with the dualities of his reality.

Ironically, the Brooklyn-born boxer has a lot in common with his fellow athletic GOAT, Michael Jordan. Tyson revealed the commonalities between the two and an incident that almost brought the two to blows.

Tyson x Shay Shay

On a “Club Shay Shay” podcast episode with Shannon Sharpe, Mike Tyson was asked about his favorite basketball player. To no one’s surprise, he answered, “Michael Jordan.”

“I think you like Jordan because his name Mike and your name Mike,” said Shay.

“We were born in the same hospital,” Tyson said before the two men laughed.

Born at a hospital in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn, Tyson was the third child of Jimmy Kirkpatrick and his girlfriend, Lorna Smith Tyson. Lorna had used the Tyson name since her brief marriage to Purcel Tyson and retained it until her death from cancer in 1982.

Next Direction

However, after multiple stints in youth prisons, Tyson was sent to live with boxing trainer Cus D’Amato in the Catskills in upstate New York. There he was trained to become a world champion and feel no mercy for his opponents.

His ego was boosted with the confidence he built in the gym and eventually from the many knockout wins he would score over his career. However, at one point at the top of their respective careers, the two almost fought over Tyson’s touchy subject: his then-wife, Robin Givens.

According to a backstory offered by Essentially Sports, “After Mike and Givens separated in 1989, Givens dated Michael Jordan. This did not sit well with Mike Tyson, who confronted MJ at a meeting of some kind in Chicago. He accused MJ of stealing his wife and used some rather harsh language to make his point.”

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Jordan vs. Tyson

“Jordan looks like he just seen a ghost,” said Tyson, in the book “Taming The Beast: Untold Story of Mike Tyson” written by his former manager Rory Holloway.

According to Holloway, “I know you messed with her,’ Mike said, ‘You can tell me. Jordan, it’s obvious he just wants to get up and run. He wants no part of this.

“And that’s what he did; he got out of there quickly,” said Holloway, who tried to stop him from doing even this much, but he could not.

“Although it was a good thing that Michael walked away and diffused the situation.”

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Jordan almost caught some heat from the “baddest man on the planet,” but luckily for him, Tyson did not want to bring smoke to Jordan. By 1990, Tyson lost his three championship belts to Buster Douglas in Tokyo, and it would take him seven more fights and six years to become a world champion again.

However, the guys who would become King’s County kings never broke the unofficial mantra to “spread love, the Brooklyn way.”


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Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.