Mike Tyson was wreaking havoc on the boxing world in 1988, devastating every challenger he faced as the supreme, undefeated Heavyweight champion of the world.
There was no other athlete on the planet at the time who was more dominant and sensational than Tyson except perhaps for a spectacular cross sport hulk brute who was making headlines all over America for his sporting exploits. Bo Jackson was electrifying Major League Baseball and the National Football League with his athletic prowess for the Kansas City Royals and Oakland Raiders.
Jackson, the Heisman Trophy winner as the best college football player in 1985, became a Pro Bowl running back in 1990 and the 1989 All Star Game MVP as a slugging outfielder.
As Mike Tyson was obliterating every man he boxed, Jackson actually expressed an interest to challenge Tyson, to Royals teammate George Brett. Jackson told Brett, he believed he saw a way to defeat Iron Mike but refused to reveal details. “I can’t share that,” Jackson said. “Simply because if I do, Tyson will get wind of it and he’ll do just the opposite and beat me.”
Jackson, who stood fix-foot-one and weighed 227 pounds, expressed confidence in his observation regarding an exploitable flaw in Tyson. “Yes, I think I can beat him. I’m gonna keep (my strategy secret) until they say, ‘Gentlemen, go out and fight.'”
For whatever reasons, Jackson never did make good on his vow to challenge Tyson, who lost his world title in 1990 to Buster Douglas. Bo continued his history making baseball and football careers until 1991 when a hip injury suffered against the Cincinnati Bengals ended his ability to compete at age 29.
Johnson hit 141 home runs and totaled 415 runs batted for the Royals, Chicago White Sox and California Angels. He also scored 16 NFL touchdowns.
Was Jackson capable of shocking the boxing world like he did baseball and football?
We will never know the answer to this eternal mystery.