Despite the pre-fight doubts, it has emerged that the exhibition bout between Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. last Saturday was a big commercial success.
The two veterans, aged 54 and 51 respectively, fought to a draw on the night, although many believed that ‘Iron Mike’ should have been declared the winner.
It has been revealed that the fight logged over1.2 million pay-per-view buys, over 350,000 more than the figure recorded for the Tyson Fury v Deontay Wilder rematch back in February.
There were concerns that the bout would not live up to its billing, mainly because no knockouts were allowed and there were eight two-minute rounds.
Tyson dominated the early rounds, landing several body shots at the end of the third.
Both men then understandably began to tire as the fight wore on, but Jones Jr. kept his speed up and threw several combinations in round seven, with Tyson responding in the final round.
The bout showed that neither fighter has lost their competitive instincts, and Tyson accepted that he was content with a draw.
A possibility of a rematch has been raised, although it is unclear whether that is a realistic proposition at this stage.
Writing on Twitter following the fight, journalist Dan Rafael explained the potential reasons for the large number of fight sales.
He said: “I believe the number was so huge because it was a perfect storm.
“Massive nostalgia during the pandemic. The pandemic kept a lot of people at home over Thanksgiving weekend.
“The price was $50 not the absurd $80ish for other #boxing events. Curiosity factor about Tyson.”
The Jones Jr. fight was Tyson’s first in 15 years, since a defeat against Kevin McBride in 2005 led him to retire from the sport.
However, there could be more to come from the former heavyweight champion, having not ruled out a potential fight for a title, or even against Anthony Joshua.
We’ll see what the future holds for ‘Iron Mike’.