Holyfield vs Belfort Pay Per View numbers reportedly bomb – fad over?

Phil Jay
Evander Holyfield Vitor Belfort ropes
Amanda Westcott

Evander Holyfield getting wiped out in 109 seconds didn’t cut it at the Pay Per View box office and could now spell the end of the heavyweight fad.

On the back of Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. smashing PPV records for an exhibition of that nature, bouts featuring aged fighters began popping up in the mainstream.

One of those was Oscar De La Hoya vs. Vitor Belfort until the former pulled out with Covid. Holyfield filled in. He reportedly got paid a hefty paycheck of between four and five million dollars to appear.

“The Real Deal” – one month shy of his 59th birthday and twenty years plus change past his best, was way out-of-his-depth on the night.

Belfort took full advantage to end the contest in the first round. Triller, who organized the event, have since distanced themselves from staging any other events of that nature.

Triller’s stance came after a wave of abuse and concern over Holyfield’s health. The fight got moved to Florida due to the former cruiserweight and heavyweight legend failing to secure a license in California.

Holyfield also got banned from fighting by the New York State Athletic Commission in 2005 due to health concerns.

Now, on the back of a car crash main event, the whole show has bombed. That’s according to WBN’s Lead Boxing Contributor, Dan Rafael.

“Per sources, Holyfield vs. Belfort event totaled about 150,000 PPV buys between linear and digital platforms, which would make it a massive [money] loser for Triller.

“At 150k, it would gross about $7.5M from PPV. Not remotely close to covering even the purses. Not to mention the rest of the expenses,” said Rafael.

HOLYFIELD and BOWE

Some in the boxing business will count this as good news. It may stop any further older legends from considering similar comebacks.

However, Riddick Bowe – who shared one of the greatest heavyweight trilogies of all time with Holyfield – is already set to return at 55.

Bowe fights in a Celebrity Boxing match-up against former NBA player Lamar Odom on October 2nd. “Big Daddy” is in no condition to fight anybody.

How long will it be before everyone involved in the staging of these Pay Per Views realizes that they just aren’t worth it?

Let’s hope it doesn’t take an ex-boxing superstar getting injured or even killed to end this new and unwelcomed trend.

Phil Jay is the Editor of WBN. An Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America since 2018. And a member of the Sports Journalists’ Association. Follow on Twitter @PhilJWBN.

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