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Mike Tyson Misses Benzinga Conference Speech After 4/20 Dust-Up on Flight

Former heavyweight champion allegedly involved in altercation aboard plane to Miami cannabis event.




Tyson 2.0 co-founder and chief brand officer, Mike Tyson, is seen at the Heavyweight Exhibit at Boxing Hall of Fame in Las Vegas, Nevada in 2013. PHOTO COURTESY WIKIMEDIA COMMONS/STEVE LOTT

Boxing legend Mike Tyson, co-founder and chief brand officer of cannabis company Tyson 2.0, was allegedly involved in a physical altercation aboard a JetBlue flight following his appearance at the 4/20 celebration in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. In a video first released by TMZ, Tyson is seen unloading a barrage of blows on a passenger who was reportedly annoying the 55-year-old ex-champ as he prepared to fly to Florida for the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference.

“Unfortunately, Mr. Tyson had an incident on a flight with an aggressive passenger who began harassing him and threw a water bottle at him while he was in his seat,” a spokesperson for Tyson said.

Tyson was scheduled Thursday as a keynote speaker at the Benzinga conference in Miami Beach, which draws the top leaders and CEOs from the cannabis industry. Following the incident, Benzinga’s organizers posted that Tyson would miss his appearance alongside professional wrestling legend Ric Flair. Tyson’s company recently purchased the majority stake in Flair’s cannabis edibles and flower company, Ric Flair Drip. However, organizers said the pair would later appear at a party in the LIV club at the Fontainebleau Hotel, where the event is being held.

Organizers of the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference announced Mike Tyson would miss his keynote address “due to a flight change.” PHOTO COURTESY BENZINGA

On the heels of cannabis’ biggest love-in
The San Francisco Police Department confirmed that officers responded to an incident onboard an airplane at SF International Airport at 10:15PM on April 20. The department declined to identify the individuals, but said two subjects were briefly detained before being released. The bloodied passenger, who authorities say “provided minimal details of the incident and refused to cooperate further with the police investigation,” was treated at the scene for non-life-threatening injuries.

Witness’ to the incident claim the stuck passenger was inebriated when be boarded and, after taking a selfie with the former heavyweight champ, began bothering Tyson. When the passenger reportedly refused to comply to Tyson’s request to refrain from harassing him, the video shows Tyson reaching over his seat and striking the man. The SFPD said the video of the altercation has been forwarded it to the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office for investigation.


The alleged altercation happened shortly after Tyson spoke Wednesday at the annual 4/20 rally on “Hippie Hill” in San Francisco. Tyson appeared genuinely moved by the huge gathering of fellow cannabis-lovers at the event.

“Listen, we’re gonna take this to another level in life. I’m the world champion, and now I’m the world champion of cannabis, and we can’t be stopped,” Tyson told the crowd who had gathered for the annual celebration. “Look at us. Thousands of people [are] looking at us, and we’re getting high. This is beautiful. … Look at me, baby, look how beautiful I look up here.”

Tyson retired from boxing in 2005 and has become an advocate for cannabis as spokesman for his company and on his podcast, “Hotboxin’ With Mike Tyson.”

Brad Cheng is the digital editor of Global Cannabis Times, produced by SmartWork Media. Brad's journalism career spans working as an editor for PR Newswire, The Nation and The Santa Barbara News Press, and as Managing Editor of The Katy Courier, and publisher of Now This in Princeton. His career as a screenwriter took him into entertainment advertising, writing major film campaigns for studios and for HBO.



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