A paparazzo escaped with his ear intact in a confrontation with Mike Tyson, but reports indicate Tyson knocked him out at LAX Wednesday.

Tyson's camp, including a lawyer and spokesman, are saying the former heavyweight champion boxer was being harassed by a videographer and was defending himself and his 10-month-old daughter when the photog provoked him with a punch.

It all happened about 4:30 p.m. in Terminal 7, airport police say. Tyson was reportedly returning from England with his family. Apparently his luggage was lost, forcing the clan to trek around the airport. The photog in question allegedly followed Tyson from terminal to terminal and even trailed him into a bathroom, according to the website X17.

“… This annoying guy [was] following him the whole way,” a witness told X17. “You could see the rage building.”

Both the 43-year-old ex-fighter and the photog wanted to pursue criminal complaints against each other, so both were apparently arrested. Tyson was released from the Los Angeles Police Department's 77th Street Division about 8:25 p.m. in lieu of $20,000 bail. The photographer was hospitalized.

The paparazzi game is becoming more physical at LAX, a public area that makes it hard for celebs to duck photogs. While celebs and their entourages are getting pushy, so are the shooters, who seem to be getting more-and-more linebacker-sized as a result. It's spy versus spy.

Last year Kanye West got into a physical altercation with a photog and was arrested on suspicion of physical battery. Ultimately the case was dropped.

It's only a matter of time before the altercations — sometimes involving some burly, professional bodyguards — produce something worse than a black eye and a broke camera.

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