Mike Tyson Claims He Tried To Bribe A Zookeeper $10K To Let Him Fight A Gorilla

Today in ‘celebrities just straight up admitting weird shit seemingly unprompted’ news, Mike Tyson has told UK newspaper The Sun that he once offered a zookeeper $10,000 to let him into an enclosure to fight a gorilla.

The retired boxer claims it happened back in the 1980s – I assume a peak time period for boxers threatening to defeat enormous apes in combat – at an unnamed zoo in New York. Look, I’m dubious on this ever having happened, but also it’s Mike Tyson so it’s quite possible.

Here’s his story, in which he claims the gorilla in question was a bully:

I paid a worker at New York’s zoo to re-open it just for me and Robin. When we got to the gorilla cage there was one big silverback gorilla there just bullying all the other gorillas. They were so powerful but their eyes were like an innocent infant.  I offered the attendant $10,000 to open the cage and let [me] smash that silverback’s snotbox! He declined.

The Robin in this story is Robin Givens, Tyson’s wife at the time. She would later go on to allege Tyson was physically and emotionally abusive in their relationship.

I have to say, I do not think there would have been an outcome to this hypothetical fight which would not have ended in Mike Tyson being murdered by a gorilla. I cannot for the life of me think of anyone currently or formerly involved in combat sports at any time who could have gone toe-to-toe with an adult male silverback gorilla.

So lets spare a thought for an alleged New York zookeeper at the height of the swinging 80s who, given the opportunity to take a cool ten grand in exchange for almost certainly being charged with manslaughter, chose not to do so. An icon of restraint.