It's the Queen v/s Mike Tyson

Jan 30, 2012, 07:18 IST | Agencies

The Queen takes on boxing legend Mike Tyson -- in a pigeon race dubbed The Flight of the Century

The Queen takes on boxing legend Mike Tyson -- in a pigeon race dubbed The Flight of the Century

Queen Elizabeth and Mike Tyson are birds of a feather. Her Royal Highness and ex-con and ex-heavyweight boxing champ Iron Mike share a passion for pigeon racing. They've both got birds in the Sun City Million Dollar Pigeon Race in South Africa -- and both would consider the $200,000 (Rs 99 lakh) prize a crowning achievement.

Face off: The Queen's Royal Desire, the only regal bird of the
Queen, will race against Tyson's thoroughbreds for the grand
prize. File Pics/Getty Images

Her Majesty's racing bird Royal Desire will battle Iron Mike's thoroughbred fliers in the race. The regal entry is the sole survivor of six sent to Africa from the Queen's loft near Sandringham, Norfolk. The rest were lost or picked off by birds of prey during training.

Her Majesty's bird will join ex-world heavyweight champ Tyson's hopefuls among 3,479 pigeons being released in Hopetown for the 342-mile race back to Sun City. The race -- the richest and most prestigious in the pigeon world -- draws entries from 37 countries. The Queen is said to be "very keen" on pigeon racing. Tyson claims his love of the birds kept him sane after he quit fighting. He is said to have several birds in the event -- having entered them under the name of an unidentified syndicate.

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