Mike Tyson Experiences Medical Emergency During Flight

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Less than two weeks after boxer, entrepreneur, and convicted sexual assailant Mike Tyson accused problematic YouTube celebrity-turned-fighter Jake Paul of being out of shape, the 57-year-old faced a health crisis of his own. An eyewitness reports that the one-time pigeon racer required medical attention during a flight from Miami to Los Angeles on Sunday, but according to a representative for Tyson, he’s expected to make a full recovery.

Speaking with In Touch, an anonymous fellow traveler says that the May 26 trip on American Airlines flight 1815 was struggling before it began, as it was delayed for two hours on the tarmac due to extremely high temperatures inside the plane. According to local weather reports, temperatures reached 93 degrees in Miami yesterday, but humidity and other factors made it feel closer to 115.

Former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson arrives at the Marion County Courthouse during his 1992 trial for the rape of an 18-year-old girl, Desiree Washington, a contestant in the Miss Black America pageant.

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Mike Tyson, who was sued last year by a woman who says he raped her in the 1990s, and who was convicted of rape in 1992, wasn’t waiting out the delay on the plane. The eyewitness says he was cooling his heels in the airline’s Admirals Club, from which he was escorted, twice, to the plane.

“There was a lot of buzz when he left the Admirals Club and got to the gate. A lot of fans recognized him, and a few people got pictures,” Tyson’s fellow traveler reportedly said. “He was very accommodating and then he was escorted away from the gate because the flight was delayed because the gate person said that the plane was too hot because it had been sitting all day and had to cool down.”

Once the flight hit the air, things were fairly uneventful until about 30 minutes before touchdown. According to a representative of Tyson’s who corresponded via email with the New York Post, “He became nauseous and dizzy due to an ulcer flare-up 30 minutes before landing.” Vanity Fair has reached out to Tyson’s representatives, but has not received a response as of publication time.

Mike Tyson, Robin Givens, Barbara Walters on ‘20/20’

ABC Photo Archives/Getty Images

At that point, the plane crew broadcast a message asking for medical assistance from any qualified passengers. It’s unclear if any volunteered to help Tyson, who appeared to admit to domestic violence in an interview in 1988 and made light of the claims in his 2021 one-man show.

“He was in first class, but we were an exit row and the stewardess was very chatty. They asked us to stay on the plane and landed so paramedics could enter,” the witness told In Touch. “She said something like, ‘He’s a really important passenger so we wanna make sure he’s OK.’ I knew it was him, but I just mouthed the words’ Mike Tyson,’ and she nodded her head yes.”

The plane was delayed an additional 25 minutes once it landed in LA, the witness says. Via statement, a representative for American Airlines tells Vanity Fair only that “American Airlines flight 1815 with service from Miami (MIA) to Los Angeles (LAX) was met by first responders upon arrival due to the medical needs of a customer.” According to Tyson’s representative, “He is appreciative to the medical staff that were there to help him.”

The health scare comes less than two months before a planned July 20 boxing match between Tyson and Paul that is being heavily promoted by Netflix. So far, the bout has prompted two press conferences with the combatants, during which they have predictably challenged one another’s fitness. On May 16, the two met up for a battle of wits at Texas Live! in Arlington, for an exchange during which the two disagreed over who would triumph.

Mike Tyson, Nakisa Bidarian and Jake Paul pose onstage during the Jake Paul vs. Mike Tyson Boxing match Arlington press conference at Texas Live! on May 16, 2024 in Arlington, Texas.

Cooper Neill/Getty Images

The 27-year-old Paul, who boasts a record of 9-1 and six knockouts, vowed to “knock this old man the fuck out,” and said that “on July 20, Mike will be put to sleep, and he will feel my power and I will go down as the man who put Tyson to sleep for the last time.”

Tyson, whose professional record is 50-6 and includes 44 KOs, seemed unperturbed by the 30-years-younger man and implied that his body composition was unhealthy. “I don’t know if he’s in his prime,” Tyson said of Paul. “He’s fat. He should be lean and mean and he’s fat and funky. I saw him with his shirt off though and he’s fat.”

Tyson, who once told Vanity Fair that he’d like to be reincarnated as Achilles upon his death, is now “doing great,” his rep told the Post. Paul has yet to comment on his challenger’s condition, and as of Monday afternoon, Netflix has not announced any schedule changes for the July fight.

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