How Mike Tyson is connected to Las Vegas' most notorious unsolved murder

Mike Tyson's fight with Bruce Seldon is an important step on the timeline of events that led to murder.
Bruce Seldon vs. Mike Tyson
Bruce Seldon vs. Mike Tyson / MIKE NELSON/GettyImages

The residents of Las Vegas, NV, and fans of 90s gangster rap are reliving a tragedy which occurred in 1996 with the arrest of a suspect in the shooting of Tupac Shakur. As fans reflect on the loss of legend, some combat sports fans are remembering details of the night he was shot and how Mike Tyson is connected to that tragic night.

In order to explain the obscure but important connection, we'll break down the timeline of events that led to the killing. Before we get the the night in question we should mention that Tupac was shot on Nov. 30, 1994, two years before he died in Las Vegas. At the time, Tupac claimed Notorious B.I.G. and Sean "Puffy" Combs were involved in the set-up.

Tupac Shakur murder timeline

Sept. 7, 1996

Approx. 10 p.m: Tupac attends the Mike Tyson fight at MGM Grand. He was competing against Bruce Seldon for the WBA heavyweight championship. This would be the last fight that Tupac ever saw before his death. The fight ended in a first-round TKO. Many people thought the fight was fixed and Seldon retired after the bout.

Approx. 10:30 p.m: After leaving the fight, Tupac ran into Orlando "Baby Lane" Anderson, a gang member in the South Side Compton Crips. Tupac was already upset with Orlando due to him being involved in the stealing of a Death Row Medallion in July of that year. In MGM security footage, Tupac can be seen running over to Anderson and throwing the first punch in what would be an all-out brawl.

Many people thought Orlando was responsible for the murder of Tupac which happened just hours later, but he denied the claims to the Los Angeles Times, “I wish they would hurry up and catch the killer so my name could be cleared. I don’t think the Las Vegas police have done a very good job trying to solve this case. It doesn’t just hurt Tupac’s mom, it hurts me too. Because until they catch the real killer, my innocence will never be proven.” Orlando died in an unrelated gang shooting in May 1998.

Approx. 11 p.m: After stopping at his hotel room, Tupac and Suge Knight left the hotel casino for a local nightclub in a black BMW 750iL sedan. Police stopped them for not having a license plate and then 15 minutes later, while at the intersection of East Flamingo Road and Koval Lane, a white Cadillac sedan pulled up to the passenger side and opened fire into Tupac's car. He was shot four times and taken to an area hospital.

Sept. 13, 1996

4:03 p.m: Tupac succumbed to his injuries after being placed on life support. His official cause of death was "respiratory failure associated with multiple gunshot wounds."

Who killed Tupac Shakur?

In 2002, Chuck Philips, an investigative journalist reported that Orlando had fired the shots that killed Tupac and that Notorious B.I.G. was also involved. They had both denied any involvement with the crime before their deaths.

The most recent movement in the case came in 2023. In July of that year, a search warrant was executed in connection with the murder, and an arrest was made in September 2023. Duane "Keefe D" Davis pleaded not guilty to the murder in November 2023 and is awaiting his trial. Keefe D is the only suspect in the murder still living. Orlando and Notorious B.I.G. were both killed in shootings in the 90s.

“Duane Davis was the shot caller for this group of individuals that committed this crime,” said Las Vegas police homicide Lt. Jason Johansson (h/t AP News). “He orchestrated the plan that was carried out.”

Some fans have wondered if the raid on Puffy's home in April 2024 had anything to do with the murder investigation of Tupac and, so far, it doesn't appear they are connected but there could be things the police know that are not released to the public.

Mike Tyson feels 'guilty' about Tupac murder

Though Tyson had no actual involvement in the death, it's something that still affects him to this day. The GOAT boxer says he actually pressured Tupac to attend the fight as it would be something special for fans to see him ringside. He also revealed he was supposed to be out with Tupac on the night of his death.

“I feel a little guilty about him coming to the fight and me pressuring him … I was supposed to go out with him that night. I promised to go to the 662 with him that night, but I just had a little baby and her mother was provoking me to stay home, so I stayed home,” Tyson said in an interview with DJ Vlad in 2020 (h/t Revolt). “I know who I am, I know what my element’s about. This is just what happens in my world. That was part of my world. Just because it was Tupac and I was attached to it, it was different.”

Tyson has also revealed that Tupac visited him in prison when he was serving time for rape in 1992. He said, "They respected [Tupac ], soon as he came in the room, they started applauding."

The sad story of it all is Tyson, who fought the night Tupac died, is still fighting to this day. He's scheduled to face Jake Paul this Summer. Imagine how music could have been impacted if Tupac and Notorious B.I.G had survived.


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