Mike Tyson Beat Up A Passenger In Business Class, Now He Wants $450,000

Last year Mike Tyson beat up a passenger on a JetBlue flight.

Tyson flew JetBlue from San Francisco to Fort Lauderdale. The man sitting behind him in business class wouldn’t stop talking with him. Their interaction began with Tyson agreeing to take a selfie, but when passengers wouldn’t leave him alone Tyson let them know he’d had enough. Finally Tyson got up and began giving the man behind him a beat down. Going full-on Joe Lewis, he drew blood.

The passenger who got the beat down, who was reportedly intoxicated, sought medical attention and went to the police. Tyson left the flight as well. That man is now demanding a $450,000 settlement.

Tyson won his first 18 professional fights by knockout. Most of those were in the first round. He’s the youngest ever to win a heavyweight title. When he knocked out Michael Spinks in 91 seconds it was the only thing the entire country was talking about.

But his behavior outside the ring made him an anti-hero at best. And his behavior inflight shows that – while passengers around him can be perhaps just as bad, a boxer’s desire to box is no longer acceptable when an aggrieved husband can’t even slap Chris Rock on national television. When you go Cassius Clay on a JetBlue Mint flight it’s going to get recorded and you’re going to come out the bad guy.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. I’ll bet most people don’t even know who Cassius Clay was… except for us “old timers”

  2. I bet the guy fully deserved it! I’m with Iron Mike on this one. BTW – I flew with him (and Don King) in FC on AA once when he was heading to Las Vegas for his comeback flight after prison. He was very quiet, sat there and didn’t bother anyone. A couple of people said something and he was responsive. I remember one man a row behind him told Mike he lived in the same neighborhood and Mike stood up, turned around and shook the man’s hand. If anything Mike is more mellow now that he was then so I’m sure he was pushed pretty hard to take out this guy. BTW no criminal charges were filed. Ambulance chaser whispered in his ear – that is all.

    Gary – you call him an anti-hero but many of us respect what Mike has done in and out of the ring plus all he has overcome.

  3. This was not Tyson’s first amateur beat down. And while the inebriated dude was out of line, getting punched by a professional is dangerous. We should remember to only annoy boxers in our own weight class. They seem to be easily triggered.

  4. This wouldn’t have happened if the seats were enclosed by row which would help cut down on interactions.

  5. The man was out of line, but Mike Tyson should be found guilty of assault and fined. His hands are dangerous weapons.
    Considering how some passengers misbehave aboard planes, I’m not surprised at some of the previous comments. Many people lack good sense and behave as boors, if not worse.

  6. If your wife was having sex with your 20yo sons friends and letting the whole world know it. You want to pick on a smaller chris rock also

  7. Mike Tyson should NOT settle with that instigating LOSER.
    If he does, he is incentivizing others to imitate the bad behavior of Melvin Townsend.

  8. As with AC, I’ve also had Mr. Tyson and his family onboard in First from Miami to Vegas a few years ago. He was very quiet and for the most part, slept the whole flight.

    This guy behind him, must’ve really been a nuisance.

  9. At what point did the annoying guy become intoxicated? If he was let on the plane that way it shouldn’t have happened. I can see how this would be annoying but it’s not worthy of a physical assault. The annoying guy was lucky Mike Tyson didn’t bite his ear as well.

  10. @Maryland “…getting punched by a professional is dangerous…”. Being a dumbass and pissing off someone who could put you to sleep, literally, is just as dangerous.

  11. Frankly I think the idiot got what he deserved. If you’re stupid enough to intensely aggravate Mike Tyson when you’ve been repeatedly asked to stop, the consequences are on you.

  12. Seriously now, I wonder if Tyson’s lawyer will argue the whole thing was a set-up. The guy kept pestering him hoping to get a reaction and then be able to sue.

    Regardless, Tyson still should have kept his cool and just told the FA.

  13. Bad title. Who wants the $450,000 again?

    (You can’t infer the gender of “passenger”, so most people will imply that he refers to Mike Tyson)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *