Mike Tyson Says He Was Harassed Prior to Appearing to Punch Plane Passenger on Video

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIApril 21, 2022

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 11: Mike Tyson attends the Ladylike Foundation Bowling Classic at Lucky Strike LA Live on February 11, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)
Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images

Representatives for former world champion heavyweight boxer Mike Tyson said that his apparent attack of a passenger on a recent flight was provoked by harassment and a water-bottle toss.

"Unfortunately, Mr. Tyson had an incident on a flight with an aggressive passenger who began harassing him," Tyson's representatives said Thursday, per TMZ Sports, "and threw a water bottle at him while he was in his seat."

Video showed Tyson appearing to punch the passenger in the face, which was left bruised and bloodied. The passenger also appears to be harassing Tyson before the 55-year-old acted:

The passenger has reportedly gone to law enforcement to report the incident, per TMZ Sports.

The passenger's friend told TMZ Sports that the boxer was friendly and even took a selfie with them, but the passenger continued to bother Tyson and did not stop when asked. Sources also told TMZ Sports that the passenger was "extremely intoxicated."

The incident in question occurred at San Francisco International Airport at 1:30 a.m. ET on a red-eye flight bound for Florida. Tyson got off the flight before the plane took off.

Per TMZ Sports, Tyson is headed to Miami to speak at the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference Afterparty, where he is expected to speak Thursday evening. He was also supposed to talk at the Cannabis Capital Conference in Miami at 12:05 p.m. ET Thursday but then he could not attend because of a flight change.