More Pay Per View : Does Tyson Hold Value?
year old boxing icon Mike Tyson, or ‘Iron Mike’, returned for an exhibition fight against former heavyweight world champion 51 year old Roy Jones Jr.
The $49 pay-per-view fight raked in 1.2 million buys after the two former heavyweight champions fought in an eight-round bout at the LA Staples Centre last weekend.
The fight was viewed on television, satellite, and online, including platforms such as Triller.
The fight was ruled as a draw, causing controversy among fans who argue that Tyson was ‘robbed’ of the win.
After the fight Tyson said: “This is better than fighting for championships.”
“We’re humanitarians now. We can do something good for the world. We’ve got to do this again. I would absolutely do this again,” he added.
Jones Jr said: “We’ve got to do this again, everybody loves Mike, I love Mike too but it’s something else taking punches from Mike.”
“I’ll go talk to my family, see how they feel about it, and if they want to do it again, we’ll do it again,” he added.
The fight was the most profitable in boxing this year, and the second most profitable in all combat sports for the year, behind UFC 251, where Kamaru Usman defeated Jorge Masvidal, retaining his promotion’s welterweight title.
Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder’s $79 pay-per-view heavyweight rematch this February was another top-selling event in combat sports, pulling in between 800,000 and 850,000 PPV buys.
Conor McGregor’s UFC 246 comeback fight with Donald Cerrone in January also brought in $1 million.
Tyson and Jones Jr are not the first to have come out of retirement, boxing champ Floyd Mayweather returned to the ring in 2007 for $25 million to fight Oscar De La Hoya, setting the record for the most pay-per-views in history.
Tyson was expected to have made an estimated $10 million from the fight, and Roy Jones Jr. around $3 million.
In other sports, exhibition matches are known to be a stellar method of not only attracting buzz among fans but re-igniting the careers of retired players.
Golf stars Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson returned for an exhibition match worth $12 million at Shadow Creek golf course in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The Tyson-Jones Jr fight also included a fight between YouTuber Jake Paul and former NBA player Nate Robinson, where 23-year-old Paul knocked Robinson out in the second round.