Mike Tyson made his boxing comeback last November against fellow aging pugilist Roy Jones Jr., a pay-per-view (PPV) exhibition bout that resurrected the “Iron” brand and put Tyson in a favorable position to continue his once-shuttered career in the “sweet science.”
A career he planned to continue without Triller.
“Just to be clear, there is no Tyson with Triller fight,” Tyson said in a statement earlier this year. “I don’t know any Triller executives personally. I don’t have a deal with Triller or any head executive representing them for the next event.”
“I’m a partner in Legends Only League, and my next event is with my league. I will never do another event or any business with Triller, so anyone misrepresenting that they own the rights to my name or my next event isn’t true. I am not with or ever will be with Triller’s Fight Club.”
Unfortunately for the Nintendo video game icon, Triller absorbed all of the risk for his boxing comeback and subsequently, is entitled to all of the rewards. That’s why Tyson is now facing a pending lawsuit from Triller boss Ryan Kavanaugh, who is likely to sue for performance if Tyson tries to box for another promoter.
Or even himself.
“It is unquestionable that we have a contractual right to your next fight, including but not limited to Evander,” Kavanaugh wrote in a letter to Tyson, obtained by The Athletic. “Having spent over $30 million dollars on your first fight while being told it was a crazy risk no one would take was only because and for this right to a Tyson-Holyfield fight. We also entered into an agreement directly with Evander.”
The plan was to bring former opponent Evander Holyfield back to the ring — as requested — and set up a future trilogy between the pair. Their last encounter ended in a bizarre ear-chomping disqualification loss to “The Real Deal” way back in June 1997.
Triller also forwarded bank receipts to prove Tyson was paid $25 million for his Roy Jones Jr. fight, before asking “Iron” to check with his financial handlers to account for any missing money. Either way, it’s unlikely we’ll get another Tyson fight until this mess is resolved.