Buncey’s BOXXER Bulletin: Triller night
In this week’s column, presented by RDX Sports, veteran columnist Steve Bunce takes a look at this Saturday’s bonanza card on Triller, including the much-hyped clash between Jake Paul and Ben Askren, as the new video platform continues to shake up the sport.
Justin Bieber, Snoop Dogg, Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Teofimo Lopez and a vast cash reserve all add to the mad appeal of social video platform, Triller.
Last year, Snoop Dogg laughed his way through the exhibition/fight between Roy Jones and Tyson, which was a Triller production; it generated $80M in pay-per-view revenue.
The fight was a good watch and the business of mixing old fighters, veterans from other sports, top current boxers and celebrities was firmly established. Only a cynic in denial can ignore this mayhem.
Triller is back in Atlanta on Saturday, when Jake Paul fights with a boxing licence for the third time when he meets genuine MMA veteran, Ben Askren. It’s the main attraction on the Triller show and – I have to say – it is intriguing. Can a YouTube, actor, playboy, comic actually beat a man who has been fighting professionally under the lights for over a decade?
Part of me, the sensible boxing part, tells me that Askren can walk through Paul, hold, hug, hit away and then break him. Askren was a winner in MMA for a decade, an Olympian wrestler in 2008 and he is a hardman.
“I took up boxing just two years ago and I will still knock him out,” threatened Paul, who is the Triller attraction with his millions of online fans.
In his last fight, Paul knocked out former basketball player, Nate Robinson, in two rounds. Robinson was clueless, Askren can fight. It’s boxing, just not pure boxing.
This Saturday’s undercard is, frankly, ridiculous. I love it.
A former barman from Twickenham called Joe Fournier, who is now an international nightclub owner, defends one of his many belts. Fournier has built a boxing reputation in that twilight zone where crazy fights are sanctioned and made legitimate by weak governing bodies. Fournier is classic Triller.
Regis Prograis, arguably the number two light-welterweight in the world, is in a very real fight with Ivan Redkach. It could be a genuine top-of-the-bill fight anywhere this Saturday.
There is a faded UFC fighter called Big Frank Mir in against former world cruiserweight champion, Steve Cunningham. This is part-real, part-exhibition and double-barrel Triller. Cunningham once dropped Tyson Fury at Madison Square Garden.
This will cost seventeen quid in the UK and $49.99 in America to watch. In Miami, on the same day, unbeaten WBO middleweight champion, Demetrius Andrade, meets his mandatory, Liam Williams.
That fight will cost you just £1.99 to watch in the UK and that fee is for a month of live fights from all over the planet. Make no mistake, Triller are up for a fight.
Back in February, the game seriously shifted when Triller bid $6,018,000 for the next Teofimo Lopez world title fight. This bid was no laughing matter for boxing purists; Lopez’s promoter, Bob Arum, only bid $2,315,000. There is now a rift between Lopez and Arum.
Lopez will fight Australia’s number one contender and arguably the luckiest man in boxing, George Kambosos, in late May or early June. George, a nice guy, will get $2,106,300 for his world title challenge and that is genuinely crazy money. Evander Holyfield, who is now 58, will be on the bill, a warm-up for his inevitable third fight with Mike Tyson. Yep, it’s mad, but you will watch.
Remember, if Snoop Dogg is there, if they swear, if there is a heavyweight from the Eighties and there is a massive purse bid, you know it’s a Triller show.
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