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Mike Tyson Became a ‘Smuck-Slave’ to Satisfy His Greatest Obsession

Published 01/07/2023, 2:00 PM EST

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Former world heavyweight champion, Mike Tyson, is undoubtedly one of the most intimidating fighters to step into the boxing ring. Meanwhile, ‘The Baddest Man on The Planet’ is an avid animal lover, with a particular fondness for pigeons. Tyson has also passionately spoken about raising pigeons on multiple occasions. In fact, he once opened up about his first encounter with the birds and also revealed that he became a ‘smuck-slave’ to be around them.

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Tyson released his autobiography, ‘Undisputed Truth’ in the year 2014. Moreover, this book that he co-wrote with Larry Sloman saw Tyson share intimate details about his childhood. And about his journey to becoming one of the living legends in the sport of boxing.


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Mike Tyson talks about his first encounter with the birds

Tyson and his love for pigeons has a rather intriguing backstory. On his way back from school in 1974, he was approached by three guys who planned to rob him. However, things quickly turned when they realized that Tyson had no money. They asked Tyson to tag along with them to a building. Talking about the incident, he said, “Whoa I don’t know. I hesitated. I was one wimpy kid against three. But, we walked in and they said, ‘Go to the roof shorty.’. I didn’t know if they were going to kill me.”

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He further continued, “We climbed up to the roof and I saw a little box with some pigeons in it. These guys were building a pigeon coop. So I became their little gofer, their smuck-slave.”


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Tyson also revealed that he spent all day chasing birds and that he enjoyed it. He even mentioned that he used to think that he was a misfit. But he felt at home around pigeons.


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The significance of pigeons in Tyson’s life

Pigeons always had a special place in Tyson’s heart. In fact, he opened up about the same in an Instagram post. He said, “I always loved pigeons ever since I was a child. They teach us the importance of being compassionate.”

Tyson also mentioned that pigeons were his escape from the struggles he faced in life.


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WATCH THIS STORY – Mike Tyson Gifts 24-Karat Gold Bathtub to Wife, Floyd Mayweather’s Exotic Animal, & Other Ridiculous Christmas Presents From Boxing World Over the Years

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Written by:

Joshua Ben Joseph


One take at a time

Joshua Ben Joseph is a Boxing writer for EssentiallySports. He started his career as an editorial cartoonist and holds a BFA degree with a specialization in Animated Filmmaking and Screenwriting from AISFM, Hyderabad. An avid lover of boxing history, Joshua believes his writing extends his lifelong adoration for combat sports.
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Edited by:

Ajinkya Aswale