When Triller Fight Club made their debut last year with the Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr fight, it was a big success. The PPV card sold more than 1.6 million pay-per-view buys.
That was expected as Mike Tyson is still a popular figure, and he was fighting another boxing legend in Roy Jones. They fought an eight round exhibition bout, and to its credit, it was an entertaining fight.
By watching the card, it was clear that Triller is more about entertainment than boxing. In addition to exhibition fights and social media stars fighting, Triller adds music performances and celebrity commentary.
The music performances are stale, and the celebrity commentary is idiotic at best. These types of shows are not for everyone, and it’s not my cup of tea, but there is an audience for it.
The show got worse with the Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren fight that took place in April. There was only one solid pro fight in that PPV card which was Regis Prograis and Ivan Redkach. All the other fights on the card were terrible mismatches. The music performances were longer, and the commentary got worse.
If all this was bad, Triller went to a new low this past weekend with their latest installment of fights. Mind you, I only saw highlights of this event, and that was enough already.
In the main event, MMA legend Vitor Belfort scored a first round TKO over legendary boxer Evander Holyfield. Let’s just say the fight was an embarrassment.
Holyfield was a replacement as the original opponent Oscar De La Hoya, had to pull out of the fight as he contracted COVID-19. It was shocking as a 58-year-old Holyfield had no business being in the ring and had not fought for 10 years.
The fight was even moved from California to Florida, so Holyfield could get licensed to fight. This is how bad this was. The fight result reflected everything we thought would happen.
Holyfield was off-balance and not stable. Once Belfort landed an uppercut, he immediately dropped Holyfield. Belfort followed it up with a barrage of punches (many that did not land), and Holyfield could not react.
This prompted the ref to stop the fight. Even though the stoppage was quick, it was appropriate in order to save Holyfield from further damage.
In the end, it was decided the fight would not count as a pro fight but as an exhibition fight only. The co-feature was between two past their prime MMA fighters in a boxing match.
Those fighters were Anderson Silva and Tito Ortiz. Silva was considered the best striker in MMA, while Ortiz was considered the worst striker in MMA.
You knew how this was going to play out. After a flurry of punches from Ortiz that were slow as molasses, Silva landed a right to the chin of Ortiz that knocked him out in the first round.
The other fight being promoted was David Haye vs. Joe Fournier. It was a battle between two friends, but they hyped the fight that there would be a knockout.
The fight was a lackluster sparring match at best that went the full eight rounds. The only real fight on the card was the opening bout of the PPV card between Jono Carroll and Andy Vences.
Then to add to the craziness of this event, there was optional commentary featuring the President of the United States Donald Trump.
Many people were actually upset about this on social media. That really shouldn’t upset anyone as it was part of the entertainment. If you like to listen to dimwitted commentary from celebrities such as Pete Davidson and Snoop Dogg, why would Donald Trump bother you?
Many fans might say these events hurt boxing, but the reality is these events don’t hurt or help the sport of boxing. We have seen these types of freak shows before in boxing. This is criticism of the content that Triller is providing.
Just last night, Triller hosted another fight card, but it was decent. The main event showed Danielito Zorrilla stopping Pablo Cesar Cano in the second round.
It was a good performance for Zorrilla, but this card was on a Tuesday night. Really only hardcore boxing fans knew about this card only. How about showcasing some of the new talents like Zorrilla on these big PPV cards? That would be a good idea.
The next Triller card will be on October 4, and it’s a good fight between Teofimo Lopez and George Kambosos Jr. Let’s hope this fight lives up to the hype as it has been a disaster with many postponements.
In addition, the original PPV price tag for this event was $19.99, which was fair, but now they raised the price up to $49.99. On top of that, the fight is on a Monday night, which is not a good idea. I think a Friday or even a Thursday night would have been more suitable.
Once again, Triller is more about entertainment than boxing. These events will keep going in the meantime but will eventually fade away. There is no issue with having concert performances, celebrity guests, and bizarre boxing fights. There is always an audience for that, but with more quality fights, you can attract more of an audience and not become a total laughable product.
Final thought: no more old boxers that are a shell of themselves fighting. It’s shameful, but more importantly, these fighters do not need to suffer any more damage than they already have.