Mike Tyson stands out in the boxing world not only for his prowess in the ring but also for his unexpected love for an unassuming creature – pigeons.
The 57-year-old icon recently made waves as he ventured to Pitnica, a quaint village in northeast Poland, on a discreet mission to purchase a whopping 100 pigeons from a local breeder.
Tyson’s affection for these birds isn’t a newfound fascination; it’s a connection rooted in his childhood growing up in the rough streets of Brownsville, New York.
In Tyson’s own words, pigeons were a refuge from the challenges of his surroundings, offering solace and purpose in a neighborhood considered rough and lawless.
Tyson almost lost his life trying to steal pigeons
This extravagant pigeon acquisition serves brings back to memory a gripping near-death experience from Tyson’s youth.
Recounted in a 1988 Sports Illustrated article, the story unfolds in the streets of Brownsville when a young Tyson, attempting to steal pigeons with a friend, found himself at the mercy of men willing to hang them by a rope from a fire escape.
In a stroke of fate, just when the men had Tyson hanging with the rope around his neck, a neighbor’s intervention spared Tyson from a brush with death, preventing a tragedy that could have altered the course of boxing history.
His love for pigeons wasn’t merely a hobby; but a lifeline that kept him focused and out of trouble during his formative years providing him with a calming and grounding feeling.