Due to the current situation regarding the United States and COVID-19, it is unknown when fans will be allowed back in arenas to watch major sporting events. An exhibition bout is looking into the idea of bringing in fans right when they believe they will be allowed back in.
Recently, the bout between Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. was moved from September 12 to November 28. It was initially reported that it was a result of Tyson’s (50-6, 2 NC) team looking to maximize revenue with a later date. Speaking with MMA Fighting, Classic Entertainment & Sports COO Jimmy Burchfield Jr., who’s organization will be promoting the event (per MyMMANews.com), discussed the current development.
“We sat around and looked at what was going on, the Mike Tyson, Roy Jones legends fight was resonating, plus putting together these other fights that were gaining traction and we realized that people were demanding tickets, wondering how to view this live,” Burchfield stated. “We looked at it and said, ‘Hey, maybe there’s a possibility of pushing this back where we can have some spectators. So that was one factor to consider.
“Another factor to consider is the Saturday after Thanksgiving is a huge night and we thought the potential of that particular night would be huge from a marketing standpoint—giving us more time to market the event. There were real business issues involved in it which facilitated it being pushed back.”
Tyson will be working with his recently-debuting Legends Only League, focusing on providing a platform for elder stars looking to make a comeback. The fight card will air on PPV and the video streaming platform Triller for $49.99. International deals are currently being looked into.
When speaking with MMA Fighting originally, Jones (66-9) felt relieved that no promoters were initially going to be involved in the event. Since then, CES Boxing and Eros Innovations have become big-time players when it comes to planning. Jones has voiced his displeasure for having the event moved without telling him, and has threatened to back out of the fight. He is waiting to hear everyone out as he is set to make his decision soon.
While it is not expected to be a legitimate brawl, anything can happen with Tyson. Planning ahead, is there a plan for the Legends Only League following the Tyson v. Jones bout?
“The game plan is that this is the first of many,” Burchfield went on to say regarding fight nights. “This is something that we feel is going to have legs. Thinking outside of the box, taking legends like Mike Tyson and Roy Jones, having them showcase and bringing in the traditional boxing fanbase, having these other matchups pitting personalities from the social influencer world, from the NBA, having some legitimate—as we would know—fighters from the history of boxing competing against each other, it’s gonna give this thing a bigger reach than it would have normally.
“That’s what is so exciting about this, to have a reach with live boxing events, live musical acts, and this is going to be showcased to so many people in and out of the boxing world.”
The fight between Tyson and Jones will take place inside the Dignity Health Sports Arena in California.