Mike Tyson explains his fixation with pigeons and his "deep love for the birds"

Mike Tyson has explained why he has such a deep love of pigeons to his Instagram followers – having previously revealed that he dumped a girlfriend because she cooked and ate one.

The former heavyweight boxing world champion has regularly been photographed with the birds throughout his time in the limelight, and still looks after more than 1000 of them.

The 55-year-old, who has been linked with a return to the ring in 2022 following his exhibition return against Roy Jones Jr back in 2020, has now entered into a new business venture.

Tyson wrote on Instagram on Saturday: "I always loved pigeons ever since I was a child. They teach us the importance of being compassionate. I created Iron Pigeons to share the deep love for these birds with my fans."

"They will be a part of the @expopulus trading card game. Click the link below to sign up for the drop."

Iron Pigeons is a trading card game based around Tyson's love for the stout-bodied birds, with the boxing icon maintaining a collection of over 1000 birds to this day.

Tyson had preciously noted: "They were my escape. I was fat and ugly. Kids teased me all the time. The only joy I had was pigeons."

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In a dark twist on his favourite past time, Tyson has admitted that he was once forced to break up with a partner after she insisted that they should cook and eat one of his pets.

When asked if he had ever eaten one of his birds one the US radio show Boomer & Carton back in 2013, he said to the shock of the hosts: "I tried.

"I tried. I was dating this young lady and she said, 'I don’t know why you’re flying those damn birds, you should be eating them.'

"She happened to grab one and — and she cooked one and proceeded to eat it. And I just couldn’t do it."

After saying that his girlfriend put the pigeon into 'some boiling stuff', he added: "It just wasn’t the right thing to do. That’s why she’s not my woman anymore."

And saying when asked why he didn't stop her: "It was her house and we were living off of her dime, so she could do [it]."

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