Triller owner Ryan Kavanaugh told BoxingScene.com that the Mike Tyson exhibition versus Roy Jones Jr. is expected to rank in the top 10 most purchased pay-per-view events of all time.
Factoring previous combat sports PPV counts, that would mean Tyson vs. Jones would cross the 1.59 million PPV buy barrier "Iron Mike" set with Evander Holyfield over 23 years ago.
Triller reportedly paid $50 million to land the rights to the fight and charged viewers $50 to order the event. If exceeding the 1.59 million number holds true, the TikTok rival and social platform will have made nearly $80,000,000 for their pilot program and launch into their live events business.
More PPV buys should be tabulated in the coming weeks as traditional cable operators share those numbers with Triller.
“Despite everyone wanting for it not to work, we upset them by changing things up and making it work and dominated the conversation,” Kavanaugh said.
Shortly after the completion of Tyson vs. Jones, Triller announced that it had formed a boxing program with entertainer Snoop Dogg billed as Fight Club, a separate entity from Tyson’s newly launched Legends Only League.
Triller and Snoop Dogg plan on putting on five to eight PPV events in 2021 following the same structure as Tyson vs. Jones featuring up-and-coming fighters and musical acts — sans the old man exhibition matches.
Tyson took home nearly $10 million for his scrap, while Jones had a $3 million payday. The purses listed for each all-time great by the California State Athletic Commission was $1 million.
Although the match was billed as an exhibition and not a “real fight” plenty of people were still interested in what both fighters had left in the tank.
The event marks the first boxing PPV that has gone over the million barrier since Canelo Alvarez and Gennadiy Golovkin crossed that threshold in back-to-back fights in 2017 (1.3 million) and 2018 and (1.1 million).
Tyson accumulated nearly the same PPV numbers he collected in his 1996 fight versus Evander Holyfield (1.59 million), but couldn't best his 1.97 million PPV number with Lennox Lewis in 2002, or the 1.99 million PPV figure from his rematch with Holyfield in 1997.
The “Bite Fight” still stands as the best-selling heavyweight fight of all time.
For context, the Tyson Fury versus Deontay Wilder rematch earlier this year drew nearly 850,000 PPV buys in what was arguably the most heavily promoted fight of all time from joint broadcast partners ESPN and FOX.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. still sits comfortably as the king of the PPV ring at the top four spots for best-selling boxing PPVs of all time with his fights against Manny Pacquiao (4.6 million) Conor McGregor (4.3 million) Oscar De La Hoya (2.4 million) and Canelo Alvarez (2.2 million).
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com