Taking on Mike Tyson

The heavyweight champ on his Animal Planet show and 'Hangover 2'.

Fred Topelby Fred Topel

Taking on Mike Tyson

I thought I’d have an in with Mike Tyson. We shop at the same store. Armani Wells in Studio City sells designer menswear resale, often bought from celebrities. I have a vest that was Tyson’s. He reacted well to it but there wasn’t much conversation there. He was at the Television Critics Association press tour for his Animal Planet show Taking on Tyson, chronicling his pigeon racing career. I asked my pigeon question during the press conference, then went to Hangover 2 after I made my personal connection.


CraveOnline: How does working with pigeons help you find a sense of peace? Does it coordinate with and meditation practices you do?


Mike Tyson: One of the things I do to stay peaceful is watch my birds. That’s all I do all day. My wife doesn’t understand how people who are neophytes this particular genre, they go, “Mike, what are you looking for? You’re in here for five hours watching the birds. What are you looking for.” I’m trying to look for the two dominant personalities I want to breed. You have to watch them. You watch this guy. They’re just like human beings. This guy right here’s got a girl sitting on eggs right here and then two boxes up he’s got a girl with eggs up there. When they come down to feed, how they come out to eat and two girls try to kill each other and fight. People may say I’m a freak for doing this but this is just what I do. If I went to see some guy in Brooklyn, NY with a bunch of chickens in his backyard, I’d say, “This is a country hillbilly guy.” That’s what people think when they see me and they see a bunch of pigeons in my garage, on my roof and in my backyard. They think I’m from down south and I’m just a hillbilly. This is just what we do. It’s a cultural lesson.


CraveOnline: We shop at the same store, Armani Wells in Studio City with Claudia Wells.


Mike Tyson: Let’s talk about Claudia.


CraveOnline: Do you still shop there?


Mike Tyson: Every now and then.


CraveOnline: I have a vest that used to be yours. I can’t believe we’re the same chest size?


Mike Tyson: What size are you now?


CraveOnline: 44


Mike Tyson: I don’t know, I’m probably a 44 now too. I lost weight. I was up and down.


CraveOnline: Did you have more confidence about Hangover 2 since the first one was such a hit?


Mike Tyson: Yeah, it’s night and day, 1 and 2. I think I had more fun in part 2. I don’t know if it’s a better movie or not. I think it’s hilarious.


CraveOnline: In Thailand they can go crazy.


Mike Tyson: Yeah, but I just had a good time. My objective was to go there and do the movie. It’s going to be pretty awesome. There are some pretty heavy duty scenes in there.


CraveOnline: Is there a good reason you’re in Thailand with the guys?


Mike Tyson: They called me to come. Have check will travel.


CraveOnline: Mike Tyson’s Punch Out was such a classic on NES. What did you think of that little cartoon guy being able to knock you out?


Mike Tyson: I don’t know, I’m just happy they gave me the check.