Not only did Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr.’s exhibition match provide us with an endless supply of memes, but it proved that even after a 15-year layoff, boxing fans will still clamor to watch Iron Mike throw hands in the ring.
From the New York Post:
The former heavyweight champion’s exhibition draw against Roy Jones Jr. on Nov. 28 generated over $80 million via more than 1.6 million pay-per-view purchases, according to projections released by Tyson’s Legends Only League and the social-networking service Triller, the fight’s distributor.
$80 million? 1.6 million pay-per-view buys? Goddamn.
And according to Triller owner, Ryan Kavanaugh, the bout is expected to crack the top 10 most purchased PPV events of all-time. I think you missed that last part: of all-time.
“Despite everyone wanting for it not to work, we upset them by changing things up and making it work and dominated the conversation,” Kavanaugh told BoxingScene.com.
So what’s next on the agenda?
After reportedly collecting $10 million for putting hands on Jones, it’s looking like next up to bat is former heavyweight champ Evander Holyfield. Yes, the same Evander Holyfield whose ear became a mid-fight snack during their infamous 1997 rematch. While nothing is set in stone, the 58-year-old is still very much about that action and has been in contact with Tyson’s camp.
“We’ve definitely had conversations, and it looks like it’s gonna happen,” Holyfield told TMZ. “I’m a very confident person, so I think it’s gonna happen.”
“Let’s do it, baby! Simple as that. Let’s do it.”
He also made similar statements in the immediate aftermath of Tyson’s bout against Jones.
“No more excuses,” Holyfield said in a statement. “This is the fight that must happen for both our legacies. Saturday night you said you were ready to fight me, so sign the contract and get in the ring, Tyson. The world is waiting and it’s on you now. I’m ready.”
Tyson’s camp has yet to respond to Holyfield’s challenge, but considering a fight with Holyfield could be an even bigger draw, I believe it’s only a matter of time until Iron Mike signs on the dotted line.