Sports

Mike Tyson’s alleged victim breaks silence after being punched by legend


Video footage emerged this week of Mike Tyson repeatedly hitting a fellow passenger on a plane, with representatives of ‘Iron Mike’ later claiming the man had thrown a bottle of water at him

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Mike Tyson lets out roar in training footage

Lawyers of the man allegedly attacked by Mike Tyson on an aeroplane have presented his side’s account of events after the boxing legend claimed he had a water bottle thrown at him.

This week, TMZ released video footage of Tyson, 55, appearing to repeatedly punch a fellow passenger, now named as Melvin George Townsend III. Police later confirmed to ESPN that they were called to the incident in San Francisco just after 10pm on Wednesday as the plane prepared for take-off.

Officers spoke to two men, neither of whom they identified, before both were released. “That subject provided minimal details of the incident and refused to cooperate further with the police investigation,” an officer said.

Tyson’s spokesperson, meanwhile, released a statement implying the former heavyweight world champion had been harassed : “Unfortunately, Mr. Tyson had an incident on a flight with an aggressive passenger who began harassing him and threw a water bottle at him while he was in his seat,” they said.

Despite the alleged victim declining to press charges, his legal team have now issued a denial of Tyson’s claim that a water bottle was thrown at him. Via TMZ , his lawyers have said: “Our client is a big Mike Tyson fan.

“When Mike Tyson boarded the plane, he became overly excited. 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.







Mike Tyson returned to the ring in 2020 for an exhibition fight with Roy Jones Jr
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Image:

USA TODAY Sports)

“This situation could have been avoided simply by contacting the flight attendant. Our client denies throwing a water bottle prior to being struck by Mr. Tyson.”

Other witnesses have reportedly claimed that Mike Tyson was composed and calm with fellow passengers, including Townsend, and agreed to pose for photographs. He then eventually allegedly lost his temper after Townsend continued to pester him, leaving his bloodied after a flurry of punches, although the video footage didn’t show any bottles being thrown beforehand.

The incident came in a week where boxing was in the headlines, ahead of Tyson Fury’s title defence against Dillian Whyte on Saturday night. And YouTuber Jake Paul, who himself now has a 5-0 pro record of the sport, has since leapt to the defence of his fellow American.

“If you’re being heckled in public like Mike Tyson was you should legally get a hall pass to beat someone’s ass,” he tweeted. “This generation thinks they can get away with anything.”

Tyson retired in 2005 but late in 2020, returning to the ring for an exhibition bout with Roy Jones Jr. And he surprised many with the display as the pair battled to an eight round draw.

He’s been craving further fights since, and was reportedly in talks with Logan Paul before the latter signed up with the WWE. He’s also called out old rivals Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield, but is yet to finalise another bout.

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