Michael Jordan

After his first retirement, Michael Jordan was offered to fight Evander Holyfield or Michael Moorer for the heavyweight title

Nowadays, it’s fashionable for ex-NBA stars to hop into the boxing ring to test their mettle. We’ve seen the likes of Nate Robinson and Deron Williams fit in a pair of boxing gloves to slug it out in the fight arena. 

Way before the rise of such forms of entertainment, Michael Jordan — the greatest of all time — was offered big money to box. Unlike Robinson or Williams, he wasn’t set to face ex-NBA, ex-NFL, or retired fighters. Instead, Jordan was set to fight either Evander Holyfield or Michael Moorer for the heavyweight title. 

In a report from 1994, Main Events offered Jordan a guaranteed $15 million to fight the winner of the Evander Holyfield-Michael Moorer April 22nd heavyweight title fight. Boxing promoter Dan Duva, who presented the fight to Jordan’s agent David Falk, shared he was dead serious with his idea.

“Michael Jordan fighting for the heavyweight championship would be the most spectacular event in the history of sports. This offer is not a joke. We are 100 percent serious,” Duva said.

Duva added that Jordan could earn up to $25 million for the fight. He knows that Jordan’s retirement didn’t boot him out of the limelight. It even propelled the mystique surrounding him.

In 1994, Jordan had just retired for the first time from playing professional ball and was trying to embark on a baseball career. When the fight offer came, Jordan worked out with the Chicago White Sox and received praise from the coaches.

Given Jordan’s competitive drive, we can safely assume that he agreed to fight either of the two boxing heavyweights. However, upon getting word of the offer, MJ had this to say:

“I wouldn’t fight those guys if I had a gun in my hand.”

Yes, Jordan is competitive as hell. But he also knows that he should stay in his lane. The boxing fight offer was just a testament to how big Jordan was in the 90s. Though he walked away from fame, fame continuously followed him.