‘I was just irritated, tired, high, and pissed off’: Mike Tyson addresses JetBlue fight on Kimmel


‘I was just irritated, tired, high, and pissed off’: Mike Tyson admits he was wrong to pummel an overzealous fan on a JetBlue flight in April, but says he was too exhausted to be patient after celebrating pot-themed 4/20 holiday

  • Mike Tyson told Jimmy Kimmel he was wrong to attack a passenger aboard in April flight from San Francisco to Florida, but added he was irritated at the time
  • Tyson said he was tired from spending the day celebrating the pot-themed 4/20 holiday on San Francisco’s Hippie Hill, and admitted to being high on his flight
  • Tyson: ‘I was wrong, that should’ve never happened. That’s me back in my primitive child stages… but I was just irritated, tired, high, and pissed off’
  • Neither Tyson, nor the other man, were charged for their roles in the scuffle
  • Video of the fight went viral, showing the other man with cuts above his eyes 

Mike Tyson admits he was wrong to punch an overzealous fan on a recent flight, but confessed to Jimmy Kimmel on Thursday’s show that he was ‘irritated, tired, high, and pissed off’ when he bludgeoned the passenger in the seat behind him aboard an April 20 flight.

‘Hey listen, I’m usually good at these things,’ said the 55-year-old former heavyweight champion. ‘I was wrong, that should’ve never happened. That’s me back in my primitive child stages, I shouldn’t of done that, but I was just irritated, tired, high, and pissed off. S*** happens.

‘I don’t wanna hurt nobody.’

Kimmel joked that he’s ‘still glad’ Tyson punched the other passenger.  

In a video that ultimately went viral, Tyson was seen punching a man repeatedly aboard a Florida-bound airplane on April 20 and leaving him with cuts on his forehead. The victim, later identified as 36-year-old Melvin George Townsend III, allegedly threw a bottle at Tyson and had been seen pestering the boxing legend prior to take off.

Through his attorney, Townsend denied throwing a bottle at Tyson and blamed the incident on being ‘overly excited.’

Last month, San Mateo County District Attorney Stephen M. Wagstaffe declined to press charges against Tyson because of ‘the conduct of the victim leading up to the incident, the interaction between Mr. Tyson and the victim, as well as the requests of both the victim and Mr. Tyson.’

Mike Tyson admits he was wrong to punch an overzealous fan on a recent flight, but confessed to Jimmy Kimmel on Thursday's show that he was 'irritated, tired, high, and pissed off' when he bludgeoned the passenger in the seat behind him aboard an April 20 flight

Mike Tyson admits he was wrong to punch an overzealous fan on a recent flight, but confessed to Jimmy Kimmel on Thursday’s show that he was ‘irritated, tired, high, and pissed off’ when he bludgeoned the passenger in the seat behind him aboard an April 20 flight

Melvin Townsend III was the man who was pummeled by Tyson. Here he's pictured in his mugshot following one of several arrests in Florida. Like Tyson, he served three years in prison

Melvin Townsend III was the man who was pummeled by Tyson. Here he’s pictured in his mugshot following one of several arrests in Florida. Like Tyson, he served three years in prison

Tyson wasn’t being flippant when he admitted to being high.

The Brooklyn native spent the marijuana-themed 4/20 holiday in San Francisco, where he was seen smoking pot throughout the day.

Video of the incident shows Tyson punching Townsend before the JetBlue flight had taken off from San Francisco to Fort Lauderdale, leaving the Florida man with a bloody forehead.

Townsend initially had a cordial exchange with Tyson, according to TMZ. A witness says he and a friend greeted the 55-year-old boxing legend as they boarded the plane and even got their picture taken with Tyson.

Tyson soon grew tired of engaging with Townsend and reportedly asked him to be quiet. When Townsend continued talking, Tyson reportedly then stood, turned, and threw several punches to his face and forehead.

‘Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey Mike, come on, stop that,’ a witness is heard saying on the cell phone footage.

Another video from the flight shows the aftermath of the incident, with Townsend sporting traces of blood on his forehead.

‘My boy just got beat up by Mike Tyson,’ said the man shooting the video. ‘Yeah, he got f***ed up. Just trying to ask for an autograph. I don’t know what happened.’

 

Jimmy Kimmel joked that he's 'still glad' Mike Tyson punched the other passenger

Jimmy Kimmel joked that he’s ‘still glad’ Mike Tyson punched the other passenger

A representative for the Brooklyn-born boxer later claimed he was reacting to Townsend, an unruly passenger who had been harassing him and actually threw a water bottle at Tyson.

‘Unfortunately, Mr. Tyson had an incident on a flight with an aggressive passenger who began harassing him and threw a water bottle at him while he was in his seat,’ a representative for Tyson told DailyMail.com in an email.

Townsend, through his attorney, denied throwing a water bottle.

‘Our client is a big Mike Tyson fan,’ Morgan told TMZ. ‘When Mike Tyson boarded the plane, he became overly excited. At first, their interaction was cordial.

‘At a certain point, Mr. Tyson clearly became agitated by an overly excited fan and began to strike him in an excessive manner,’ Morgan continued. ‘This situation could have been avoided simply by contacting the flight attendant. Our client denies throwing a water bottle prior to being struck by Mr. Tyson.’

San Francisco police did detain two individuals from the April 20 flight, but declined to identify either. They did pass along the video to San Mateo County police, who are now declining to press charges.

‘On Wednesday April 20, 2022, at approximately 10:06 p.m., San Francisco Police officers assigned to the SFPD Airport Bureau were dispatched to a physical altercation onboard an airplane located at the Domestic Terminal of the San Francisco International Airport,’ read a San Francisco police statement provided to DailyMail.com.

‘Officers arrived and detained two subjects that were believed to be involved in the incident. One subject was treated at the scene for non-life-threatening injuries. That subject provided minimal details of the incident and refused to cooperate further with the police investigation. Both subjects were released under 849(b) of the California Penal Code pending further investigation.

‘The SFPD is aware of video that possibly captured the incident, which surfaced following the initial investigation. That video has been forwarded to the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office, which has investigative jurisdiction on this incident.’

JetBlue did not respond to requests for comment.

Mike Tyson was seen enjoying the good vibes and marijuana that the 4/20 holiday brings just hours before repeatedly a punching a fellow passenger on a plane at the San Francisco airport Wednesday night, leaving the man with a bloody forehead

Tyson, 54, a marijuana entrepreneur, was seen earlier in the day celebrating April 20 (4/20) by smoking pot on San Francisco's famed Hippie Hill.

Mike Tyson was seen enjoying the good vibes and marijuana that the 4/20 holiday brings just hours before repeatedly a punching a fellow passenger on a plane at the San Francisco airport Wednesday night, leaving the man with a bloody forehead

Like Tyson, who served nearly three years in an Indiana prison after being convicted of rape in 1992, Townsend has his own criminal record.

The native of Punta Gorda, Florida has served 20- and 15-month prison sentences for a variety of crimes, including possession of Oxycodone, burglary, grand theft, fraud, and trafficking stolen property, according to a records search. In one 2018 incident he stole a trailer by trespassing and hitching the unit to his pickup, reported TMZ, which was the first media outlet to identify him.

Townsend was last released from a Florida prison in July of 2020 after serving 15 months of a 25-month sentence for that incident and his use of a fraudulent personal ID. He previously did time for trafficking stolen property in 2009 and 2010.

The altercation came after a long day of pot smoking for Tyson, who was seen celebrating the pot-themed 4/20 holiday on San Francisco’s Hippie Hill on Wednesday.

Townsend has served 20- and 15-month prison sentences for crimes including grand theft

Townsend has served 20- and 15-month prison sentences for crimes including grand theft

Tyson maintained his festive mood on his way out of town, too, as witnessed by Bay Area-photographer Josh Edelson, who was arriving at San Francisco’s airport after a trip to Italy. Edelson approached Tyson roughly an hour-and-a-half before Tyson’s incident on the JetBlue flight.

‘When we walked out of the airport, I turned to my wife, like, ”Oh my God, that’s Mike Tyson right there,”’ Edelson told DailyMail.com.

‘So I went up to him and was like, ”Mike do you mind if I get a picture with you real quick?” And he responded with, ‘I don’t give a f***,’ and then he took a huge toke of his joint.

‘I went and took a picture with him, and he took another big toke and said ”goodbye” to his driver, who I assume drove him there from Hippie Hill or wherever he came from in San Francisco,’ Edelson continued. ‘And that was pretty much it. I didn’t really think very much of it. Then I left and went home, and then woke up this morning, and as it turns out, he was just arriving to go fly home or [Fort Lauderdale.]’

According to Edelson, Tyson appeared to be in a peaceful mood before boarding his redeye flight to Florida.

‘He was really chill,’ Edelson said. ‘He seemed overall happy. He obviously was smoking, was having a good time and seemed to be in a really good mood.’

Then, before boarding his flight, he was seen at the San Francisco airport by Bay Area-photographer Josh Edelson, who was returning with his wife from a trip to Italy

Then, before boarding his flight, he was seen at the San Francisco airport by Bay Area-photographer Josh Edelson, who was returning with his wife from a trip to Italy

Tyson was also asked by Kimmel about a potential exhibition fight with Jake Paul, the former YouTube star who is now moonlighting as a boxer and promoter. In January, The Sun reported the two were negotiating a bout that could generate nearly $50 million.

‘That could be very interesting,’ Tyson said, remaining noncommittal. ‘I never took it really serious, but that could be really interesting.’

Obviously it’s a three-decade age difference that makes this potential bout unique.

‘This fight bridges the gap between old school boxing fans and the new generation of followers,’ the source told The Sun.

The 30-year age gap aside, Tyson (50-6-2) holds a considerable advantage in experience having fought in 58 professional bouts against actual boxers.

Paul, on the other hand, is 5-0 against another YouTuber, former NBA star Nate Robinson, and MMA fighters Ben Askren and Tyron Woodley, the latter of whom was knocked out in their rematch last month.

Unlike those, though, this would be an exhibition fight, in which knockdowns — let alone any knockouts — are quite rare.

The Sun’s source believes the bout can generate as much as much as £36million ($49 million) between live and pay per view broadcasts.

Mike Tyson and Jake Paul are reportedly nearing a deal for an exhibition between the 55-year-old former heavyweight champion and 25-year-old YouTuber that could be generate nearly $50 million. The Sun is reporting the deal, which would be a pay-per-view bout later in 2022

Mike Tyson and Jake Paul are reportedly nearing a deal for an exhibition between the 55-year-old former heavyweight champion and 25-year-old YouTuber that could be generate nearly $50 million. The Sun is reporting the deal, which would be a pay-per-view bout later in 2022

Tyson previously speculated about another exhibition following his split decision draw against retired boxing legend Roy Jones Jr. in 2020. At the time, he thought he’d be back in the ring in February, but it now looks to be taking place later in 2022.

‘I am going to have a return fight in February and we are pretty skeptical about the opponent but it will be a really stimulating opponent,’ Tyson told the Sun.

According to Tyson, the money for fighting one of the well-known Paul or his brother Logan would be too much to refuse.

Tyson last fought in 2020 against another retired former champion, Roy Jones Jr. (right), in LA

Tyson last fought in 2020 against another retired former champion, Roy Jones Jr. (right), in LA

‘That is the fight for the money,’ Tyson said in 2021. ‘Those are the money-making fights, those guys got 35 million people to watch.

‘Hell, I would fight them,’ he continued. ‘They would fight me. That would make a lot of money.

‘Hundred million dollars, they do anything, they don’t mind getting beat up for a hundred million dollars.’

While a win over Tyson would be Paul’s first against a legitimate boxer, it might not impress those within the sport.

Even aside from his age, Tyson’s reputation as the scariest man in boxing was laid to rest since 1990, when he was knocked out by James ‘Buster’ Douglas in Tokyo.

Prior to that, things were considerably different for Tyson, who was once so scared of killing his opponents in the ring that he often needed to have sex with groupies before fights to take the edge off his rage, his former bodyguard and chauffeur has claimed.

‘He had to get laid to disengage some of the strength he had,’ Rudy Gonzalez told The Sun in November. ‘So I had girls tucked away in bathrooms and changing rooms.

‘Sometimes he’d go in with them for a minute, bang the s*** out of them, snap his neck and say: ”Okay this guy is going to live tonight.”’

Jake Paul fights Tyron Woddley during a Paul Woodley II on December 18, 2021 in Tampa

Jake Paul fights Tyron Woddley during a Paul Woodley II on December 18, 2021 in Tampa

Mike Tyson exits the ring after his split draw against Roy Jones, Jr. in November of 2020

Mike Tyson exits the ring after his split draw against Roy Jones, Jr. in November of 2020

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