Mike Tyson back to Brooklyn for new reality show on racing pigeons

Friday, January 7, 2011

NEW YORK - Boxer Mike Tyson is gearing up for his new Animal Planet reality show on racing pigeons in Brooklyn.

Tyson admits his new TV show is strictly for the birds.

“There will be some things about me,” the New York Daily News quoted Tyson as telling television critics as he discussed “Taking On Tyson,” a six-episode reality series that begins March 6.

“I have a pretty colorful past. But this show is all about the pigeons.”

The show brings Tyson back to the Brooklyn neighborhood where he grew up and watches him re-embrace what he calls his first passion: racing pigeons.

“I didn’t even go to school, because I was bullied,” says Tyson from the streets where he was raised.

“That’s when I discovered the birds.”

“Taking On Tyson” teams Tyson with Vinnie Torre and Helder Rodriguez, who both raise competition-racing pigeons.

Tyson says he’ll be the apprentice in this enterprise.

“I’ve always watched,” he says. “But these guys have done it.”

Still, Tyson’s manager Mario Costa says his bond with the birds runs deeper than that.

“I’ve seen Mike when he had nothing, literally nothing but his shorts and a shirt,” said Costa.

“And he’d spend all day with the pigeons. He had nothing but the birds. I’d see him there and he’d tell me he was rich.”

Tyson says he admires the loyalty and skill of pigeons. He adds, however, that he is not talking about just any random old street birds.

Tyson said he and other pigeon racers study individual birds to see how each one behaves and how that bird might best fit a racing team, which needs birds with both speed and endurance.

“People may say I’m a freak for doing this,” says Tyson, who was approached by Animal Planet about the series.

“But I don’t care. This is what I do,” he added. (ANI)

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