DES MOINES, Iowa – Tyson, a beloved English bulldog, doesn’t bite ears like his namesake, boxer Mike Tyson. But he does share a title: champion.
The two-year-old pup with a fetching face and a winning personality was crowned the winner of this year’s “Beautiful Bulldog” pageant Monday in Des Moines, Iowa.
“He’s kind of compact. He’s got the one big roll and the spot over his eye,” said owner Tyler Motter, of Urbandale, Iowa. “His personality is amazing.”
Tyson beat out 49 other pups for the honor Monday in the tongue-in-cheek contest, now in its 33rd year, which kicks off festivities at the annual Drake Relays track and field meet.
Tyson beat out a cast of costumed and cleverly named characters, such as RocketMan, Matilda Rose and Chief McBeef. Applications were submitted for more than 100 dogs, and the field was whittled down to 50 by a lottery.
A panel of judges chose six slobbering pups for the finals. The ones that weren’t as lucky as Tyson still competed for titles, such as “Mr. Congeniality” and “Best Dressed.”
The slickest costume award went to Fletcher, who was dressed as massive barbeque sandwich made famous by Jethro’s, a nearby restaurant.
Fletcher’s owner, Brad Neal of West Des Moines, said it took roughly 80 hours to put together the unique outfit.
“There’s a bun, tenderloin, buffalo chicken strip, cheeseburger, bacon, brisket, fried cheese, buffalo chicken, tenderloin, bun, white cheddar sauce” Neal said. “It was a lot of fun. We had a blast.”
But none of the pups could touch Tyson, who Tyler and Chelsea Motter chose to enter over his brother, Chubbs, because of his face and personality.
Tyson’s first few moments as the champion were rough. He fell face-first off his throne – about a three-foot drop – and then refused to eat his celebratory doggie cake.
But Tyson eventually came to embrace the attention, wolfing down nearly half his winner’s dessert in a few big bites.
“He’s a lover. He loves everybody. He loves to play,” Chelsea Motter said. “He’s happy all the time.”