The 54-year-old former undisputed world heavyweight champion has reminisced on a feud he had with the King of Pop over what he believed to be a backstage snub at a concert in Cleveland.
Tyson, who will take on fellow veteran Roy Jones Jr in an exhibition fight next month, has also revealed how he ended up forgiving Jackson after he was invited to hang out with the late star.
The contrasting characters were two of the most recognisable names on the planet at the time, which led to even more fury from the boxer when he wasn’t immediately recognised.
While on T.I.’s expediTIously podcast, he said: “I met Mike one day, I think he was at a concert in Cleveland, I’m with Don King.
“So me and Don come in, right? And I’m champ and everything, did all this s***, undisputed.
“So Don goes and Don gives Michael Jackson the ‘peace’ sign, like this. And then so Michael gives Don the ‘peace’ sign, and so I give Michael the ‘peace’ sign, and Michael put his hand down.
“In a way, I say, ‘Did he play me? Nah, he didn’t play me, he just didn’t see me. I knew he didn’t play me, cause I’m f***ing champ.”
He then continued: “So we went backstage, right? So I’m backstage, and so there’s his backstage, some of his singers and stuff.
“He’s on stage, it’s over I’m signing autographs and stuff, so Michael comes over and he talks to Don, he doesn’t talk to me. I say ‘Let me just go on and meet Mike’, cause that’s really why I’m here, I want to meet Mike.
“And then I go over to meet Mike, … and he goes like this, ‘Don’t I know you from somewhere? Where I know you from?’
“He broke my ego, he crushed me. I said ‘No, I’m just a fan, pleasure to meet you, sir. He said, ‘OK’, and then he got out and went in the car.”
Before adding of the invitation from Jackson that led to their friendship: “I said ‘OK I’m coming, I’ll be over there’, right?
“So I got on a plane, went over there, hung out, and we just started hanging out together.
“And I said ‘F*** man, he’s a good guy.
“But in my mind, I said ‘Why’d you play me though, Mike, why’d you play me like that? You knew who I was, why’d you play me?’”