Credit: Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Mike Tyson's newest sport? Competitive pigeon racing.

In the just-announced Animal Planet series Taking on Tyson, cameras will follow the former heavyweight champion, 43, as he works with a team of bird experts to train New York City pigeons for competition.

"Tyson's passion for pigeons takes my breath away," Animal Planet Media President Marjorie Kaplan said in a statement.

The boxer has loved birds his whole life; his first physical fight, in fact, was to defend a bird.

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“To rear, train and race pigeons -- or "homers" -- requires dedication and tenderness," Kaplan added. "For many pigeon racers, these avian athletes are the king of the bird world. Their intelligence, spirit, titanic bonders of loyalty and astounding homing ability sets them apart from other birds,” Kaplan said.

Taking on Tyson will debut early next year.