In the 1990s, Tupac Shakur and Mike Tyson were two of the most explosive personalities in entertainment. Both overcame scrappy upbringings to snag major fame and success. Both served time at high-profile moments in their careers. And both were known to put up a fight — whether it was “Iron Mike” pummeling opponents in the ring or ‘Pac slamming hip-hop foes on a record. The pair also enjoyed a close friendship — so close that ‘Pac was ringside at the prizefighter’s September 7, 1996, bout in Las Vegas and planned to live it up with the boxer when the match ended. Unfortunately, the Cali MC was shot that night and died on September 13.
One Night in Vegas, a documentary detailing the bond between the duo and the events of that fateful night, will air on ESPN on September 7, exactly 14 years after ‘Pac was gunned down. Directed by filmmaker Reggie Bythewood, the flick — which is part of ESPN’s “30 for 30” movie series — was created with Tyson onboard and will likely feature the boxer’s perspective of his relationship with Tupac.
Tyson opened up last month about his time with the iconic MC. When speaking to MTV News on June 16, a day which would have marked Shakur’s 39th birthday, the fighter called his late friend “incredible” and described his heavyweight approach to hip-hop.
“He looked very destructive. He came across as a world beater,” Tyson said. “As far as his music was concerned, his presence and his energy … the word I’m looking for is fearless. He came across as fearless. When you come across somebody that’s fearless, you’re a little bit in awe. You’re like. ‘Whoa!’ He’s ready to blow, too, at any moment; very volatile. He’s very focused. He can go from one second to the next and get very focused.”
Tyson also described ‘Pac’s passionate and eloquent words off the mic and revealed that their personal discussions were “purely emotionally intimate talking; expression of feeling. He was very prolific in expressing himself. He had a lot of hostility. I think it was just misguided and misdirected. It was obvious he was a genius, he was a prodigy. Whoa! He was just amazing as far as his energy was concerned. He was explosive — like a black panther ready to pounce.”