*Mike Tyson is citing “self-defense” as the reason he fought with a photographer last year at Los Angeles International Airport.

According to legal documents obtained by TMZ, Tyson says he felt the pap had put him in “immediate danger,” and claims he doesn’t owe the guy any money because he was provoked . Tyson insists that he acted in a manner that was “necessary for his self-defense” and the “protection of others.”

The legal filing was submitted in response to a $25 million lawsuit filed earlier this year — in which Tyson was accused of assaulting and battering Antonio Echevarria in an airport terminal last November.

Echevarria shot footage of the incident and gave a “heavily edited” version of it to TMZ, the site reported. It showed an angry Tyson charging towards the photographer and saying, “I will kill you.”

Tyson was arrested moments after the incident — but the L.A. City Attorney ultimately rejected the case citing “insufficient evidence.”