*The first question to Mike Tyson about his new pigeon-based Animal Planet reality show: “What do you think about another famous athlete named Michael known for his relationship with animals – Michael Vick?”
“I don’t know anything about his position. I know he did time, he came back and he’s doing an incredible comeback,” Tyson, dressed in a grey suit, told reporters at the Television Critics Associated Press Tour Thursday. “He paid his dues.”
“But my opinion don’t mean nothing,” he said. “I’m here to talk about pigeons and stuff.”
And with that, the remaining questions were strictly about “Taking on Tyson,” a six part series premiering March 6 that will focus on the highly competitive, bizarrely fascinating subculture of pigeon racing – something Iron Mike is undertaking for the very first time.
Cameras have unprecedented access to the neighborhood haunts he grew up in and lifelong friends who surround him, the network notes.
Asked if the show will help change the unfortunate image of pigeons as being filthy birds, Tyson said he’s not in the business of changing people’s opinions – but one thing’s for sure, “There’s no instance where anyone’s caught a deadly virus from a pigeon,” he said.
Asked if the show will strictly focus on pigeons, or include aspects of his personal life as well, Tyson said, “Of course there’s things about my life. I have a pretty colorful past. For one, we go someplace in the past which is a pretty dark place for me and we discuss it a little bit. But the main insight is the birds and what we have the birds doing and what they mean in my life.”