All these years later, Mike Tyson can still draw on pay-per-view.
Boxing Scene's Dan Rafael reported that Saturday's Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. exhibition match brought in 1.2 million buys on linear/satellite TV and through Fite.TV. MMA Fighting reported that number could end up being even higher -- a massive win for Triller, a new social media platform that promoted the show.
The year's biggest combat sports event in terms of PPV buys is July's UFC 251, headlined by welterweight champion Kamaru Usman vs. Jorge Masvidal topping an overall strong main card. The ESPN+ exclusive brought in a reported 1.3 million buys which means the Tyson-Jones Jr. fight is in striking distance of surpassing it.
It also would make it the biggest boxing PPV of the year ahead of Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder II that did in the range of 800,000-850,000 buys.
The fact the 54-year-old Tyson is still a draw decades after he routinely drew over 1 million buys with the likes of Lennox Lewis, Evander Holyfield, Frank Bruno, Bruce Seldon, and even Peter McNeeley in his first fight after getting out of prison is impressive. Following the draw with the 51-year-old Jones Jr. Saturday, he promised he would do more exhibitions and has frequently talked about a third fight with Holyfield. It was his first time in the ring since June 2005.
On the pro wrestling front, Tyson appeared to be building toward an AEW match with Chris Jericho as they got into a pull-apart brawl in May. Since then, the angle hasn't been revived but AEW could be waiting until fans can be in attendance at shows again.
The $50 PPV also featured YouTube star Jake Paul vs. former NBA player Nate Robinson, additional boxing matches, and musical performances by Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa. Paul's brother, Logan, was also part of a 1 million+ buy boxing pay-per-view when he faced musician KSI in 2018.