Mike Tyson Put Up $10,000 to Fight a Gorilla

Photo: Focus On Sport / Contributor (Getty Images)

Former boxing heavyweight world champion Mike Tyson has always been an eccentric personality. He owned a pet tiger once and spent tens of thousands of dollars a month to feed the damn thing. Then one time there was this gorilla, and instead of wanting to feed it, “Iron Mike” wanted to fight it.

Tyson once offered a zookeeper $10,000 to let the boxer beat up a gorilla because of course he did. Tyson literally wanted to step inside the zoo’s enclosure, walk up to the wild animal, and give it an overhand right to the dome.

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Tyson revealed the incident to The Sun and explained how he and then-wife Robin Givens were at the zoo. Apparently, Tyson wasn’t too fond of the alpha male of the group because it was roughing up the others in the band. He wanted to be an enforcer, just like he was in the WWE, we assume.

“I paid a worker at New York’s zoo to re-open it just for me and Robin. 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 smash that silverback’s snotbox! He declined.”

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We love Mike Tyson here at Mandatory. He’s truly a legendary pugilist worthy of all the praise, but we’re not sure we would have enjoyed watching him fight a gorilla because, well, it would’ve killed him. Luckily, he didn’t fight the thing and instead went on to lose to Buster Douglas in the biggest upset at the time in boxing history. We prefer that L to the one the gorilla would’ve given him.

Or maybe they would have become really good friends.