Mike Tyson has a big passion for pigeons, but he has little to say about another athlete who has a very different kind of relationship with animals – Michael Vick.
When asked at the Television Critics Association Winter 2011 Session panel for his own upcoming Animal Planet show, “Taking On Tyson,” about the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, who went to jail for running a dog fighting ring, Tyson opted out of taking a strong stance.
“I don’t know anything about his position… I only know he did time and he came and did an incredible comeback,” the heavyweight boxing legend said, before quickly adding, “My opinion don’t mean nothing, I’m just here to talk about pigeons.”
Before he got a chance to dive into the subject he’s been passionate about since he was a youth, Tyson was asked about a comment by Piers Morgan on Thursday morning at the TCAs that he had an unpleasant interview with the athlete back in the day.
“I don’t ever remember talking to Piers Morgan,” Tyson laughed. “But at different moments of my [life] I agree I was unpleasant. But that was then and this is now.”
In “Taking On Tyson,” which premieres on Animal Planet on March 6 at 10 PM, viewers will go back with the boxer to his Brooklyn roots, exploring his love for pigeons. While the show focuses on Mike’s love of the birds and his dabbling in racing pigeons – something new for the athlete — that’s not all the show is about.
“Of course there’s things [in the show] about my life. That’s just the way it’s gonna be. I have a pretty colorful past,” he said.
“It’s about Mike, but it’s so much more [than] about me,” he added.
When one reporter asked the former champ if he wanted the pigeons from outside her stoop in Queens, New York, Mike clarified that the pigeons he and his reality show co-stars are working with are an entirely different type of bird.
“What we’re dealing with is the crème de la crème of pigeons…. You want the best bloodline. You want to be attached to the best bloodline so everyone in the world wants to buy your birds,” he said, adding that the best pigeons can cost up to $1 million.
Mike, who is new to pigeon racing, admitted his least favorite part of the competition is waiting for the birds to come back when they go on lengthy treks.
“I don’t want to bond with guys,” he said when one of his co-stars suggested that’s how the men can pass the time while the birds are on 100 mile journeys. “I want to see the birds fly.”