Last Saturday night, 54 year old Mike Tyson fought 51 year old Roy Jones Jr. in a boxing match. The result was deemed a draw, and it was officially called an exhibition. Thus, it was obviously just a fun ‘hard sparring’ session that the commission was never going to actually regulate. Even though, I do admit some of the highlights I saw look like A) Mike Tyson easily won and B) it was certainly them legitimately trying.
Even so, the question was always about how much interest existed in late 2020 with two fighters clearly well past their primes and in their 50’s…in an “exhibition boxing match.” Well, it seems we may have at least a little bit of an estimate, from Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer. He states that with over 17 million Google searches, the event is on track to do incredible numbers. That was compared to the infamous Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor Mcgregor fight, which drew over 4.4 million pay-per-view buys. While nobody is expecting a number close to that mark, it does show the interest level was extremely high.
Over on NYFights, a source states the event did over one million pay-per-view buys, in the 1.2-1.5 million range. In my mind, this is much closer to the truthful figure. Even thinking about four million PPV buys is a reach. No way, no chance did Tyson/Jones do anywhere near that, even at a $50 price point. I think a million or so is the correct guess, with the optimistic view pushing it to two or maaaaaaaybe three million, as apparently pre-sale purchases were also great. Even those numbers seem high though.
Why so many freakin’ Google searches then?
Simple. There was a curiosity factor to the fight. Or exhibition. Or publicity stunt. Or whatever you want to call it.
I know I didn’t have any desire to plop down the $50 for the fight, much less than ‘special attraction’ under card. I had no interest in that circus…but there I was Saturday night and Sunday morning searching Google for anything on Mike Tyson or fight highlights. There I was, suckered right into the trap. I was one of those 17 million searches, yet I was also one of those that did NOT pay for the event.
Either way, as mentioned above, I thought Mike Tyson looked good for a man so far removed from the fighting game and kudos to him for donating his payout to charity. Very cool gesture. In the end, if the event was fun and delivered a quality fight for fans and millions were donated to charity, what’s the harm in that? It seems the viewing public was interested and will likely be again for Round Two. Ding ding!
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Thanks for reading.