The video with the boxer’s comment went viral several days ago. Although published on July 7 it is is not recent at all and shows the famed boxer expressing his point of view in April during the Tribeca Film Festival. Tyson appeared on the Red Carpet of the Festival with his wife as he starred in a new documentary film ‘Champs’ alongside Evander Holyfield, Bernard Hopkins, Denzel Washington, 50 Cent and others.

Russian journalists were among others who wanted to attract boxer’s attention and get their questions answered. Instead of this they got Tyson mad as he refused to talk to them. The only words the journalists received were: “Get out of Ukraine” which was not what they expected judging by their disappointed faces.

World famous boxer Mike Tyson reacts at the questions of Russian journalists on the Red Carpet of the Tribeca Film Festival in April, 2014, saying “Get out of Ukraine!” 

Ukrainian twitter users reacted enthusiastically reposting video, calling Tyson ‘banderovets’ and celebrating the fact that he is not ‘moskal (an offensive word for Russian)’.

Dmitry Tymchuk, military expert and ‘Information Resistance’ coordinator also hasn’t forgotten about Tyson’s support  in daily event summary on his facebook page. Tymchuk says he is ready to ‘forgive not only Holyfield’s ear, but all Tyson’s other sins for this support’, adding that he is glad ‘there still are nice people on the red carpet in New York.’

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Nevertheless, it seems that this spontaneous manifestation of boxer’s love for Ukraine made everybody leave behind the friendship between Mike Tyson and the Head of the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov. Kadyrov is said to be Kremlin-backed leader who sends troops to Ukraine to fight alongside pro-Russian separatists. 

Invited by Kadyrov, Tyson visited Chechnya back in 2005 and was planning to come back this year on July 6 as a guest of honour at Ruslan Chagaev vs Fres Oquendo boxing match. Though he did not come to the event as his visa turned to be not valid.


The question is whether this friendly ties cast doubt on the sincerity of Tyson’s pro-Ukrainian views.

Kyiv Post staff writer Iryna Savchuk can be
reached at [email protected]

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