Mike Tyson return: When 'Iron Mike' offered a zookeeper $10k to fight a gorilla in a cage


Former undisputed heavyweight champ Mike Tyson has revealed he once offered a zookeeper $10,000 to let him fight a silverback gorilla.

Speaking to The Sun, Iron Mike explained how after renting out an entire New York zoo for his then-wife Robin Givens to explore, Tyson couldn’t resist sparring one of the animals after seeing how it was treating its fellow primates.

"I paid a worker at New York's zoo to re-open it just for me and Robin,” explains the Brooklyn-born fighter.

"When we got to the gorilla cage there was one big silverback gorilla there just bullying all the other gorillas. They were so powerful, but their eyes were like an innocent infant.

I offered the attendant $10,000 to open the cage and let me smash that silverback's snotbox! He declined.

The ‘Baddest Man on the Planet’ has recently announced that he will be coming out of retirement to face Roy Jones Jr, with the 54-year-old taking on a fighter three years his junior in September.

Tyson, whilst on this occasion not being able to spar the silverback, has been well-known over the years for his love for exotic animals.


In March, he recalled the story of how he paid a woman $250,000 in compensation after one of his pet white tigers ripped off her arm.

That, coupled with the recent Netflix series Tiger King, saw Tyson show remorse about keeping the wild animals in captivity. He commented: "I was foolish. There's no way you can domesticate these cats 100 percent. No way that's going to happen.

"They'll kill you by accident, especially when you're playing rough with them, you're punching them back. They get hyped up, hit you back and you're dead.”

Whilst play fights with his tigers would have been a good training regime before Tyson faced a gorilla, it’s a good thing that the zookeeper turned down the cash!

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