For Mike Tyson, the best defense is a good offense—or in this case, an uppercut to a paparazzo's mug.
The fallen heavyweight champ is hitting back at allegations he intentionally beat down a shutterbug yesterday afternoon at Los Angeles International Airport, prompting police to take both men into custody for assault.
"Mr. Tyson was traveling with his wife and 10-month-old child without security when he was attacked by an overly aggressive paparazzi [sic]. The truth will reveal Mike acted in self-defense as a father protecting his child. We are confident justice will prevail," says Tyson's rep, Tammy Brook.
And besides, there was no ear-munching. He's got to get points for that, right?
The 43-year-old ex-pugilist/Hangover actor denied being the one to strike first. The LAPD has characterized the impromptu bout as a he-said, he-said affair—although the paparazzo apparently got the worst of it, winding up in the emergency room with cuts on his head.
Tyson had just flown in from England with his wife, Lakiha, and infant daughter, Milan, around 4:30 p.m., when the photog, Tony Echevarria, began trailing them.
No word yet on a court date.
Earlier today, Echevarria told TMZ that the incident was "traumatizing."
"When you're being hit by Mike Tyson, it's really the worst thing in the world that you can imagine...He claimed that I was aggressive. I'm not an aggressive paparazzi [sic]."
Even if Tyson manages to avoid criminal charges, he will likely face some kind of civil suit. And his woes might not stop there.
Prosectutors in Arizona are looking into whether Tyson violated his probation in a 2007 drug case. If so, the boxer, who served three years in prison in the mid-'90s, could be staring at more jail time.
Mike Tyson has been getting into trouble since before there even was an Internet to post a Mug-Shot Mania gallery!