Michael Jordan Was Once Offered a Boxing Bout Against Evander Holyfield: “Would Have Gladly Paid Michael Jordan $15 Million”

Published 12/24/2021, 9:00 AM EST
Michael Jordan playing baseball for the Birmingham Barrons in the Arizona Fall League, early 1994 (Photo by Scott Clarke/WireImage)


Michael Jordan enjoyed a stellar career in the NBA and established his name as a basketball legend. Playing for the Chicago Bulls, Jordan led a team that included Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman. The superstar has also tried his hand at playing other sports professionally. A sports organizer once offered Jordan the opportunity to try his hand at an extremely physical sport.

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Boxing promoter Dan Duva offered Jordan the chance to win a heavyweight title. Duva invited Jordan to fight against the winner of an impending duel between Evander Holyfield and Michael Moorer. According to Duva’s wife Kathy Duva, Dan remained ready to offer Jordan $15 million had he agreed to the boxing bout.

CHICAGO, IL – FEBRUARY 7: American basketball star Michael Jordan takes batting practice 07 February 1994 with the Chicago White Sox in a bid to play with their baseball team. (Photo credit should read EUGENE GARCIA/AFP via Getty Images)

Kathy said, “There is no doubt that Dan would have gladly paid Michael Jordan $15 million. An enormous sum at the time. If he had been willing to try his hand at boxing.” Jordan, however, did not accept the offer as he said, “I wouldn’t fight those guys if I had a gun in my hand.

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Jordan and Holyfield were partners and friends on the golf course.

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Dan Duva made this offer to Jordan while he played for the Chicago White Sox. The Chicago White Sox was a baseball team in Minor League Baseball. Duva probably assumed that Jordan would be up for any sport as he had taken a break from the NBA. However, as Kathy Duva asserted, “Clearly, Mr. Jordan is much too smart for that!”

Jordan quit baseball and returned to the NBA in 1995.

Michael Jordan tried his hand at baseball

Michael Jordan in an astonishing turn of events announced his retirement to the NBA world in 1993. He signed up with the Chicago White Sox to play in Minor League Baseball. While playing for the Birmingham Barons, Jordan hit .202 with three home runs showcasing his ability on the baseball pitch too.

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During his baseball stint, Jordan kept his determination to succeed intact. His hard work and determination had guaranteed him success in the NBA. The White Sox head coach at the time Walt Hriniak also noted Jordan’s relentless dedication. Hriniak said, “And he never missed a day. Not a single one. The guy was phenomenal.”

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Jordan undoubtedly impressed the baseball world, too.

 

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Shalom Saldanha

252 articles

Shalom Saldanha is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing his journalism degree, he has previously worked as a sports corresspondent for India Shorts/Business Upturn. A Giannis Antetokounmpo and Bucks fan, Shalom primarily got into the sport after discovering that he shared a mutual love for Arsenal with the 'Greek Freak'.

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