Tyson arrested after punching reporter

November 12, 2009 12:00 am

, LOS ANGELES, Nov 12 – Former world heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport, police confirmed Wednesday after he allegedly punched a photographer.

Police said the troubled 43-year-old had been detained on suspicion of battery following an altercation at the airport’s terminal seven. He was expected to be released later Wednesday.

The photographer told police that Tyson, who once styled himself the "baddest man on the planet," struck him once, airport police spokesman Sergeant Jim Holcomb said.

The photographer, who was treated for a cut to his forehead at a hospital, was also expected to be charged in the incident, police said.

Tyson spokeswoman Tammy Brook said the boxer, who was travelling with his wife and 10-month-old child, was reacting to an overly aggressive photographer to protect his child.

"There’s a lot of different versions to this story and that’s all going to come out later," Holcomb said. "There were numerous witnesses and that’s what this whole case is going to depend on."

The incident comes after a difficult year for Tyson, who suffered personal tragedy in May when his four-year-old daughter died after accidentally strangling herself with a loose cord on a treadmill.

Tyson exploded on the boxing scene in the mid-1980s, becoming the youngest heavyweight champion in history in 1986 at the age of 20.

Considered unbeatable for the rest of the decade, Tyson’s career went off the rails when he suffered a shock upset to James "Buster" Douglas in 1990.

In 1992, Tyson was convicted of raping a beauty queen at a pageant in Indianapolis, Indiana. He served three years of a six-year sentence and was released in 1995 — and has always denied raping the woman.

"Iron Mike" reclaimed the heavyweight throne but lost to Evander Holyfield in 1996 and notoriously bit Holyfield’s ears twice in a 1997 rematch, adding banishment to his ridicule.

Tyson was jailed again in 1999 for assaulting two people following a traffic accident. Tyson filed for bankruptcy in 2003 and retired after losses to Britain’s Danny Williams in 2004 and American Kevin McBride in 2005.

Tyson was also sentenced in 2007 to 24 hours in jail and three years of probation after pleading guilty to charges of drug possession and driving under the influence in Arizona.


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