Ever wonder how Mike Tyson started down the road to professional boxing?

The 44-year-old, who recently went vegan, revealed that it was his passion for bird racing as a child that eventually led him to his first confrontation.

"I was 9 or 10 years old, and I have [sic] 200 birds," he said in an interview. "I showed the birds to people who I thought were my friends, and they got a bunch of guys to come and snatch my birds."

"One guy said, 'You want it?' There was blood on my face, and I tried to fight him. I was scared to death. I didn't really beat him up, but I hit him more than he hit me so I thought I won ... That was the beginning of my fighting life."

If you hear Iron Mike talking a bit more about his birds these days, it's because his new reality TV series, "Taking on Tyson," is set to debut next month on Animal Planet. The series promises to show us a side of the man never seen before, while also introducing viewers to the world of pigeon fanciers (or those who breed pigeons).

"The first thing I ever loved in my life was a pigeon. I don't know why ... I feel ridiculous trying to explain it," says Tyson. "Pigeons are a part of my life. It's a constant with my sanity in a weird way; this is just what I do. If I'm lucky enough to die an old man, I'm going to have birds."

Check out this five-minute video below of Tyson spending some time with his birds in Brooklyn, N.Y. His new series will air on March 6 at 10 p.m. (EST).

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