Mike Tyson's candid confession about mid-flight altercation

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·Sports Reporter
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Mike Tyson has admitted he was 'high and p***ed off' when he threw several punches at an obnoxious airplane passenger earlier in 2022. Pictures: TMZ/Getty Images
Mike Tyson has admitted he was 'high and p***ed off' when he threw several punches at an obnoxious airplane passenger earlier in 2022. Pictures: TMZ/Getty Images

Boxing legend Mike Tyson has admitted he was 'high and p***ed' in the moment he was caught on camera punching a fellow airplane passenger who had been hassling him.

Tyson, discussing the incident during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, conceded to the talk show host that the incident was not his finest hour, adding that he doesn't 'want to hurt anybody'.

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According to a passenger quoted by TMZ, a man had been hassling Tyson and repeatedly asked to leave the 55-year-old alone before the former heavyweight had enough.

Footage of the incident showed Tyson reaching over his seat to punch the man, who later shared photos of marks on his face as a result.

Tyson was not charged by police over the incident, which happened while he was on his way to give a guest speech at the Benzinga Cannabis Conference in April.

The former champion joked to Kimmel that he wasn't even sure it was him in the video based on the punches.

“That’s not me. Does that look like me?” he quipped.

“I’m usually good at these things. I guess it was his number.

“I was wrong. That should’ve never happened. That’s me back in my primitive childhood stages. I shouldn’t have done it.

"I was just irritated and tired — and high and pissed off. Sh*t happens. I don’t want to hurt nobody.”

The video doesn't tell the whole story, but TMZ claims a witness said the passenger was heavily intoxicated and wouldn't stop trying to goad Tyson in his seat.

"The witness tells us Mike took a selfie with him ... and then was patient with his overly excited buddy, who kept trying to talk to the 55-year-old fighter as he sat behind him," TMZ said.

"Eventually, though, we're told Tyson had enough of the guy behind him talking in his ear ... and told him to chill. When the guy didn't, that's when the witness says Tyson started to throw several punches at the man's face."

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Tyson is considered to be one of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time.

He was the undisputed world heavyweight champion from 1987 to 1990 and remains the youngest boxer ever to win a heavyweight title.

In 1996 he joined Floyd Patterson, Muhammad Ali, Tim Witherspoon, Evander Holyfield and George Foreman as the only men in boxing history to regain a world heavyweight championship after losing it.

He has not boxed professionally since 2005, however the 55-year-old has taken part in a number of exhibition bouts in the years since, most recently facing fellow champion Roy Jones Jr in November 2020.

Mike Tyson discussed his widely-publicised fistfight with an irritating airplane passenger earlier this year with Jimmy Kimmel. (Randy Holmes via Getty Images)
Mike Tyson discussed his widely-publicised fistfight with an irritating airplane passenger earlier this year with Jimmy Kimmel. (Randy Holmes via Getty Images)

The American boxing legend was convicted of raping an 18-year-old woman in 1992.

He was sentenced to six years in prison, but was granted an early release in 1995.

Lawyer Matt Morgan hired by the man in question Melvin Townsend III, told his client's side of the events on the fateful JetBlue flight, which ended with Townsend sporting bloody cuts on his head and Tyson reportedly exiting the plane.

"Our client is a big Mike Tyson fan. When Mike Tyson boarded the plane, he became overly excited," Morgan told TMZ.

"At first, their interaction was cordial. At a certain point, Mr Tyson clearly became agitated by an overly excited fan and began to strike him in an excessive manner.

"This situation could have been avoided simply by contacting the flight attendant."

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