Former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson visited the Memorial Hall
dedicated to late Chairman Mao Zedong in Beijing's Tian'anmen Square during his
three-day visit to China.
Former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson (R) pays respects to one of his
greatest heroes by visiting waxen revolutionary Mao Zedong on Beijing's
Tiananmen Square April 1. (Xinhua)
A long-time admirer of the late Chinese leader, Tyson unexpectedly arrived in
Beijing on Saturday morning from Shanghai to pay his respects at the hall, the
Beijing Times said yesterday.
He arrived in Shanghai last Thursday for a three-day visit to promote a new
"I felt really insignificant next to the remains of Chairman Mao," the paper
quoted him as saying. "This is a great honour to be able to visit the memorial
Wearing a shirt with the picture of NBA centre Shaquille O'Neal on it, the
former champion looked in good spirits.
He said he expected to visit China again and attend contests here, the
Tyson quickly left the crowded hall where the embalmed remains of the late
leader lie, after purchasing several books on Mao.
He also reportedly shouted "I love you" to Chinese onlookers.
Later in Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, Tyson received a statue from Pan
Qinglin, a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, who
personally invited him to visit Beijing.
Tyson, 39, became the youngest champion in heavyweight history, when he took
the title aged 20 in 1986, but he retired in June last year with his career
battered and bruised by a string of indiscretions in and out of the ring.
While serving a prison sentence in the 1990s for rape, Tyson claimed he read
Mao's selected works and expressed admiration for them. He even had his right
arm tattooed with the late chairman to show his respect.
Tyson left China yesterday morning and is scheduled to revisit China in June.
(Source: China Daily/ Xinhuanet)