Boxing legend Mike Tyson has admitted his regret about owning two tigers as pets, saying he was ‘foolish’ because the animals could ‘kill you by accident’.
The former heavyweight became synonymous with the wild cats after bringing them into his home and had been seen playing and fighting with the dangerous predators, but now he reflects that was was ‘wrong’ to do so.
Speaking to rapper Fat Joe on Instagram Live, he said he was naive to think he could control the tigers, conceding that one hit from them would be deadly.
I was foolish,’ he said. There’s no way you can domesticate these cats 100 per cent.
‘There’s 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.
‘I’m just happy I educated myself. I was doing the wrong shit. I shouldn’t have had them in my house, believing they were domesticated. I was wrong.’
‘Iron Mike’ said the idea to own a tiger came while he was serving jail time in the 1990s, with a friend suggesting that one would ‘look cool in your Ferrari’.
He posted a picture of one of his tigers on Instagram, saying he was ‘the original Tiger King’
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‘I was talking to one of my friends who I bought cars from, and he was saying one of my friends owed him money,’ Tyson said.
‘He said, “If he doesn’t pay, I’m going to take some of these cars and trade them in for animals”, and I said, “What kind of animals?’ He said, “Horses and stuff”. And he said, “They have some nice tigers and lions, too. If you got one of those, that would be cool in your Ferrari”.
‘I said, “That’s true. Why don’t you order me a couple and I’ll be getting out in a couple months”.
‘So, when I got out, I came home and I had two cubs.’