Michael Jackson and Mike Tyson were giants in the world of pop culture in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Mike Tyson was riding high after becoming the youngest world heavyweight boxing champion in the 80’s and wanted to meet the biggest celebrity on the planet in Michael Jackson.
Mike Tyson was the latest guest to sit down on T.I.’s ExpediTIously podcast to talk about his encounters with Michael Jackson. “The Baddest Man On The Plant” meeting the “The Man Who Could Moonwalk” did not go the way Tyson wanted. “I’ma tell you something funny about him,” says Tyson, after Tip asks about the late pop icon. “Mike is interesting. I met Mike one day, he had a concert in Cleveland. I’m with Don King. Me and Don come in, I’m champ and everything, Don gives Michael Jackson the peace sign. Michael gives Don the peace sign. I give Michael the peace sign, and he put his hand down.”
In a way, I said ‘did he play me?'” reveals Tyson, before rationalizing it must have been a misunderstanding. “I knew he didn’t play me. We went backstage…I’m signing autographs, and Michael comes over. He talks to Don, he doesn’t talk to me…I said ‘lemme go and meet Mike, cause that’s what I’m here for.'” As he went and approached the King of Pop, Mike responded by pulling the snub. “He said ‘do I know you from somewhere? Where I know you from?'”
‘I said, “Michael said that? F**k”. Mike know what time it is. So I knew he knew the game.’ The Man In The Mirror singer’s comment prompted Mike to realise that his oft-shy persona in public wasn’t true of his personality at all. He explained: ‘[Michael] wasn’t no f*****g stupid little feeble lookin’ boy like Peter Pan. He’s f*****g sharp. He knew what f*****g time it was. It blew my mind. Never in a million years, I thought he was a f*****g idiot until I met him that day.’ Mike added: ‘When I went to his house, I knew to respect him. I knew he was a player.’ The former heavyweight champion admits he used to think Michael was a f*****g idiot’ until meeting him properly.
‘He schooled me, I learnt something,’ he said. Elsewhere in the episode, Mike also opens up about his bond with Tupac Shakur and how the late rapper visited him in jail over the rape of Desiree Washington in 1991.