Mike Tyson Admits Knocking Out Binman Over His Pigeon

by : Lucy Connolly on : 16 Mar 2020 09:27
Mike Tyson Admits Knocking Out Binman Over His PigeonMike Tyson Admits Knocking Out Binman Over His PigeonPA/miketyson/Instagram

Mike Tyson has fessed up to knocking a binman out ‘cold’ after he threw his pet pigeon in the bin.


The undisputed world heavyweight champion, who achieved 50 victories and 44 knockouts during his 20-year-career, doesn’t just save his fights for inside the ring – especially if it involves his pigeons.

The boxer has long since documented his love for the creatures, describing them as ‘so much like people’, and so when he witnessed one binman throwing his deceased pet in the garbage he wasn’t standing for it.

Mike TysonMike TysonPA Images

It all started when his favourite pigeon, Julius, passed away and the boxing icon had left his crate outside briefly as he prepared to hold a memorial for him.


Before he got chance to hold one though, Tyson said he witnessed a binman dumping the crate into his truck. Obviously, he wasn’t standing for this – no matter how innocent the gesture was – and punched the guy.

Tyson told the World Boxing Council, as per talkSPORT:

One morning I woke up and found my favourite pigeon, Julius, had died. I was devastated and was gonna use his crate as my stickball bat to honour him.

I left the crate on my stoop and went in to get something and I returned to see the sanitation man put the crate into the crusher. I rushed him and caught him flush on the temple with a titanic right hand! He was out cold.

It seems the first time Tyson ever threw a punch was also over one of his pigeons, when he was just 10 years old. At the time, someone had killed his pet pigeon in front of him and Tyson was clearly not standing for it.

He recalled how he resorted to violence to deal with the thug:

The guy ripped the head off my pigeon. This was the first thing I ever loved in my life, the pigeon. I don’t know why, I feel ridiculous just trying to explain it. Pigeons are just so much like people.

From that moment on, Tyson began putting all of his energy into boxing, winning Olympic gold and becoming the youngest heavyweight champion in the history of boxing at just 20 years old.


But he never forgot about his love for pigeons, with the boxer having previously taken solace in the animals’ company when he was bullied by his peers.

Even today, his dedication to the animal hasn’t wavered, and Tyson has a coop at his home that houses over 70 pigeons that he and his family tend to every day.

Who knew?

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Lucy Connolly

A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).

Topics: Animals, Boxing, Mike Tyson, Pigeon


  1. talkSPORT

    THROWBACK Mike Tyson’s incredible story of when he knocked out a garbage man with his ‘titanic right hand’ for throwing his pigeon away