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Mike Tyson races pigeons in new Animal Planet show (Video)

01/07/2011 by Corinne Heller

Mike Tyson races pigeons in his new Animal Planet show, "Taking on Tyson," and says he is looking to "establish some more credibility in the pigeon world."

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The six-episode series is set to debut on March 6. Tyson, a 44-year-old heavyweight boxing champion who famously bit off part of Evander Holyfield's ear in a 1997 fight, has been raising pigeons for years.

"There may be confrontations, you know, because pigeon racing is very confrontational," Tyson said in a video provided by the channel's parent company, Discovery Communications.

The group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has condemned Tyson's new show.

Tyson's status as a pop culture icon was cemented last year with a role in the hit comedy film "The Hangover." But he has faced multiple criminal and financial problems. He was convicted in 1992 of raping an 18-year-old beauty pageant contestant and served three years in prison. In 2003, he declared bankruptcy and he retired from professional boxing in 2006. In the past four years, Tyson was also arrested on drug and alcohol-related charges.

He told ESPN Radio in August that he used money he made off his cameo in "The Hangover" to buy drugs. Tyson also opened up on how the accidental death of his 4-year-old daughter Exodus in May of 2009 helped changed his life for the better.

"I wanted a different life. I felt like I was dying," he said during the interview. "I don't know. I didn't want to live anymore. So I said, that in order to go there, I had to change my life."

Tyson reveals he became a vegan and lost 130 pounds, adding: "I enjoy being with my children and my wife now. That's the only thing [that] keeps me grounded."

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