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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET

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  • Mike Tyson to become professional pigeon racer

    (Animal Planet)

    (Animal Planet)

    Mike Tyson is about to embark on a new form of athletic competition, only this time he won’t be the one in training. The former heavyweight champion of the workd will team up with Animal Planet to give audiences a glimpse into the fiercely competitive world of pigeon racing.

    “Taking on Tyson” will follow him as he makes the foray into racing pigeons competitively, as he trains the New York City birds with a team of bird experts by his side.

    The champion boxer has had a love of birds his whole life, even getting into his first physical fight as a young child in defense of his winged pals.

    “Tyson’s passion for his pigeons takes my breath away,” Animal Planet Media President Marjorie Kaplan said.

    And while the training will require a great deal of patience and discipline, Tyson is ready to tackle the challenge.

    “To rear, train and race pigeons – or “homers” – requires dedication and tenderness. For many pigeon racers, these avian athletes are the king of the bird world. Their intelligence, spirit, titanic bonders of loyalty and astounding homing ability sets them apart from other birds,” Kaplan said.

    The show will debut in early 2011, a rep for Animal Planet said.

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