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It was self-defense, Mike Tyson says

November 13, 2009

Never one to go down without a fight, Mike Tyson is claiming self-defense in an altercation with a photographer at Los Angeles International Airport that ended with both men being arrested.tyson

The former heavyweight boxing champ said he was attacked by “an overly aggressive paparazzi” and that he “acted in self-defense as a father protecting his child,” Tyson’s rep Tammy Brook said in a statement to celebrity news sites.

Tyson, traveling with his wife Lakiha (pictured at right) and 10-month-old daughter, said the photographer hit him first. Both men are said to have thrown a punch, but photographer Tony Echevarria — not surprisingly — appears to have come off worse and ended up with five stitches on the head .

Echevarria told celebrity web site that Tyson lashed out four times, and called the incident “traumatizing.”

“When you’re being hit by Mike Tyson, it’s really the worst thing in the world that you can imagine,” he said.

No word so far on the extent of any injuries suffered by Tyson.

Tyson isn’t the first celebrity to be unnerved by the paparazzi who hang out at LAX but he may be the first heavyweight champion to have laid one of them low.


I met Mike Tyson in 2007 when he was heading to Long Beach Airport to pick up his family. He was really nice and we shook hands. My wife met him a few minutes later at the airport and also shook his hand. He let her take a photo and was as nice as can be. Tired of seeing people pick on and provoke Mike Tyson – he’s done a lot to change his ways and settle down. Let him have some space already.

Posted by Greg | Report as abusive

This is the first time that I ever blogged on these things but it really infuriates me that the Paparazzi gets away with so much. If I were to follow someone around all day, all the time, it would constitute harrassment. How is this okay. Maybe Mike Tyson should not have hit the guy (unless the guy hit him first), but he was with his family and holding his baby and the guy should have backed off when asked to. It is outrageous that people cannot have any peace of family time if they are a celebrity of any kind. I can’t imagine Mike Tyson being afraid of or feeling that he had to defend himself in that manner to anyone but if the guy hit him first, epecially while Mike was holding his daughter, the guy was extremely stupid (this is Mike Tyson after all) and he deserved to get laid out.

Posted by Tina | Report as abusive

What a joke. A close relative of mine was on the same flight as tyson and said he was a complete gentleman. Calm relaxed and a perfect passenger. Clearly the papparazzi touched a nerve on a subject that was to bruised just to sell a story and annoyed a man that had just been on an eleven hour flight. They just dont know when to stop do they!

Posted by nicola | Report as abusive

Iron Mike Still Got It. Mike lost a child, I would have rather ran out into traffic than get into it with anyone who just went thru that.

Posted by johnathan | Report as abusive

this is really one of the many racism acts against black people and am in tune with Tyson’s actions.he did got it right.Paparazzzis or whatever stay off!


The guy probably hit him trying to make a buck off the assumption that Mike Tyson is a loose cannon, by provoking him and hoping to win a lawsuit. I hope you fight this all the way! Next time don’t pull your punches.

Posted by Brian | Report as abusive

Mike Tyson has the right protect himself and family just like any ordinary person. There should not be any charges against him at the end of the day. Why don’t they just leave the man alone.


first off all… its iron mike tyson… the name says it all..and when u all of a sudden jump up in front of a former
world champ an his folks… u picked the wrong day!!!!

Posted by VIVIAN MATHEW | Report as abusive

That photographer is seeking fame by picking a fight with a celebrity professional fighter. If he approached my family it would have been worse; especially is I lost a kid a year ago.

Posted by Robert Castillo | Report as abusive

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