Mike Tyson Loves To Fly Pigeons And New York City And So We Compiled The Following Paragraphs That Will Touch Your Heart | Exploring Markets

Mike Tyson Loves To Fly Pigeons And New York City And So We Compiled The Following Paragraphs That Will Touch Your Heart

Mike Tyson swings open a small, wooden door, carefully prodding his feathered friends into a gentle spring breeze. Within minutes, hundreds of pigeons flutter skyward, circling in tightknit loops. The younger birds soar higher; the older ones, particularly those locked up too long, struggle to heights they once conquered. This is my next love, after my kids. They're very soothing," the former heavyweight champion says to an old acquaintance after a workout for his June 11 fight against Kevin McBride, a tiny step in what Tyson hopes is a title march.

Almost 39, he is anything but at peace. Confused and humiliated after a decadent lifestyle left him with broken relationships, shattered finances and a reputation in ruin, the fighter cannot hide his insecurities, stacked as high as his legendary knockouts. He frets about his place in the world — where he comes from, where he's headed and how the life and turbulent times of Michael Gerard Tyson will play out.

He settles for small pleasures these days, often his birds or his children. Each day, he carefully rousts his adopted "family" members from their coops by waving a pink flag. He knows their names, lineage and health status. He has been enamored of pigeons since growing up in New York City when hoodlums bullied him into cleaning their bird cages. These days, he willingly feeds and tends his precious flock. This week he asked the City Council in Phoenix to not impose a limit on the number of pigeons kept on residential premises that would reduce his flock to 40 from 350.

On this day, he gingerly moves an adult bird from a nest to reveal fuzzy chicks. "I raised these. They are my babies," he says proudly. "This one here was just born."

As a breeder, Tyson prizes his "deep rollers," the kamikaze-style pigeons who tumble with slight drops, then execute breathtaking dives. Those birds fly miles overhead, then nose-dive into a death-defying deep roll, hurtling their bodies downward before safely pulling out at the last moment — or slamming to the ground.

''I wanted to stay away,'' he said, ''and do what the hell I wanted to. Go out on dates. Or fly my birds. I wanted to get that out of my system. Because from the age of 12 to 21, all I did was just fight and be a part-time husband.''
"I used to fly pigeons all the time and one day this guy found out where I had my pigeons," recalled the Brooklyn product who was arrested 38 times by the age of 13 for committing various petty crimes."One guy tried to steal my pigeons and I was trying to chase him, explaining, 'No, no give me my birds,’” plead Tyson, who went 50-6 with 44 knockouts as a professional pugilist before retiring in 2005. “The guy said, 'You want your bird' and he just popped its neck off and threw it on the floor. That's the first time I ever had a fight and won. I beat the guy up."