- Odd News
Spoof story reported "Iron Mike" had undergone a 16-hour sex change operation and changed his name to Michelle, the "Iron Maiden"
Former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world "Iron" Mike Tyson has issued a stament via an African website denying stories claiming he has had a sex change.
The bizarre story stems from a spoof news item from a British satirical website, which hoodwinked a number of online publications in Africa.
The NewsBiscuit story, titled "Mike Tyson sex change operation a 'complete success', say surgeons" , was inundated with hits after The Standard in Zimbabwe and SpyGhana both reported the news as fact.
Zambian website Zambia Watchdog is also thought to have published the story, but it has subsequently been removed.
Quotes attributed to Tyson in the story stated: "Some people might think it strange that I’m now a woman.
"But even at the height of my career, when pound for pound I was regarded as the best fighter in the world, I never lost touch with my feminine side and knew that one day I would grow breasts and have a vagina."
However, Tyson has since been quoted on SpyGhana as saying: "I am still a man and I have always been fully in touch with my masculinity and have no intention of becoming a woman.
"The claims are not only untrue but unbelievably stupid. I was at the Pacquiao-Marquez fight on Saturday and any reasonable person could tell I was looking like a man."
The story went on to suggest he wanted to replace his long-standing nickname of "Iron Mike" with "Iron Maiden", and change his name from Mike to Michelle after a successful 16-hour operation.
Comic writer John O'Farrell from NewsBiscuit told the BBC: "We've had half as many visitors from Africa in the last few days as we'd expect generally in a whole month."