Mike Tyson, 55, the ‘baddest man on the planet’, is known for his love of birds. He cared for them while growing up in New York. He revealed that he knocked out a bin man when he was a youngster of 10-years-of age because the man had thrown his dead pet pigeon in the bin. On another occasion he admitted that he once fought a bully as a youngster because the person had ripped the head of his pet bird.
He said: “The guy ripped the head off my pigeon. This was the first thing I ever loved in my life, the pigeon.”
Mike Tyson has had some bad times with his pigeons by the sound of it. He said that he dumped his then girlfriend because she killed, cooked and ate one of his pigeons. At the time he was living with her and she was providing the financial support. That is why he said he couldn’t stop her. But he dumped her. She probably felt that in order to ease financial restrictions it was better to kill and eat the pigeons rather than look after them.
“It just wasn’t the right thing to do. That’s why she’s not my woman anymore.”
He said that the first time he threw a punch was when he hit that person who ripped the head off one of his pigeons. At the time he confessed that he was “fat and ugly. Kids teased me all the time. The only joy I had was the pigeons.”
The story behind the pigeon’s head being ripped off is as follows. He kept pigeons in his living room. Friends told other people about it. They visited his home to steal the birds. He begged one guy to give his bird back to him. Instead, the guy punched Tyson and ripped the bird’s head off and then through the blood at him.
“I won, I guess,” he said.
Some more about Mike Tyson and his pigeons
It seems to me that when Mike Tyson was a young man, and a teenager before, that he felt like an outsider and that he found some comfort in animals specifically pigeons. He became a pigeon fancier starting at a young age. He has always stated that he loves pigeons. Tyson has invested heavily in them. It said that he owns thousands of birds most of which live in his hometown of New York City.
The cost of upkeep of his birds at one time reached the level of $400,000 a month. That must have been at his peak when he was earning tens of millions of dollars annually. Tyson earned several hundred million dollars during his career. Although I recall he did burn through it all quite recklessly. For example, he bought four Rolls-Royces and gold bathtubs. He probably spent a lot of money on his entourage in maintaining them as if they were employees. I don’t think he paid particular attention to preparing for retirement ?. He just burned through the cash; easy come easy go attitude.
He filed for bankruptcy at the end of his career when owing $60 million in debts. The story about him punching the man who ripped off the head of one of his pigeons is said to be the beginning of his fighting career. His friends told him to fight the guy who did it. He said that he flayed around so his fighting wasn’t ‘sensational’ to use his word but as mentioned he won the fight.
In retirement, Tyson still has a collection of pigeons at his home and at other places. He has about 100 at his current home and a few thousand in New York City, he has admitted.
There are some more stories about birds below the adverts if you are interested.