Former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson returned to the ring for an eight-round exhibition match against fellow 50-something pugilist Roy Jones Jr. last weekend in Los Angeles, a $49.99 pay-per-view (PPV) card that scored a whopping 1.2 million buys.
That’s according to veteran analyst Dan Rafael.
It’s an impressive number when you consider Tyson and Jones Jr. were fighting under modified rules that did not allow for knockouts. But according to FITE TV CEO Mike Weber, that number could not have been reached without the help of Jake Paul.
“Tyson is like Muhammad Ali; everyone knows the name. If you don’t follow boxing, if you don’t know a thing about boxing, you still know who Mike Tyson is,” Weber told Yahoo Sports. “One of the other reasons for the high [sales] success of this is Jake Paul. … If you want to give people on the card credit for sales, I think it’s fair to say Tyson brought in 40, 50 percent of the buyers. But Jake Paul brought in 40 percent, too, and Snoop Dogg had a big impact.”
Paul leveled former NBA star Nate Robinson in the co-main event, scoring one of the most devastating knockouts of the year. And while the former Disney channel actor is universally reviled by combat sports fans, Paul has over 20 million subscribers on YouTube.
If that number does not impress you, then you don’t understand what makes people famous these days and run the risk of getting lumped in with crotchety old Boomers. Don’t be surprised to see Paul, now 2-0 as a boxer, make a return to the ring at some point in 2021.