Triller Fight Club returned to the pay-per-view (PPV) market last weekend in Hollywood, Fla.,, where it asked curious fight fans to cough up $49.99 for its “Legends II” lineup, including the heavyweight headliner between Evander Holyfield and Vitor Belfort, as well as the undercard showdowns pitting Anderson Silva against Tito Ortiz, and David Haye opposite Joe Fournier.
But Triller is now under fire for “lying” to the public after it was later revealed that all three contests were merely exhibitions, despite being promoted as professional bouts. That means Holyfield, Ortiz, and Fournier — who all suffered lopsided defeats — will escape “The Sunshine State” without registering official losses.
“This was not boxing’s finest hour. It was one of its worst,” veteran boxing analyst Dan Rafael wrote on his official website. “Holyfield-Belfort was marketed as a real fight even though Triller knew damn well that the deal it had (including with the venue) said it was an exhibition. That’s called lying. Or fraud. Or deception. Pick a term.”
As we reported prior to the fight, Triller left the decision to make the Holyfield-Belfort bout pro or exhibition in the hands of “The Real Deal,” though no further clarification was given. In addition, the promotion was forced to relocate the fight card after California State Athletic Commission (NSAC) refused to sanction the bout.
What provisions Triller had in place to get Florida regulators to rubber-stamp the deal is unknown, but it’s not unreasonable to suggest that full disclosure could have negatively impacted PPV sales. Whether or not Triller execs come forward with an explanation remains to be seen, but expect these questions to be raised ahead of its next event.