Has Triller forever changed boxing?

The video-sharing app is gradually becoming a pivotal figure in the combat sports scene. Hosting the legendary bout between Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jnr showed the boxing world Triller are here to be taken seriously. Triller soon launched a celebrity boxing league called ‘The Fight Club’ in partnership with holding company Proxima and US rapper Snoop Dogg.

The app isn’t only enticing online personalities to boxing; they’re bringing traditional fights over to their channel. They recently outbid Promotional giants Matchroom Boxing and Top Rank for the undisputed title fight between Lopez and Kambosos this year. How has this all happened, and what does this mean for boxing?

The Los Angeles-based Triller is the latest short form video app to take on TikTok: https://bit.ly/3rCI6Fd

Triller is a video creation platform allowing users to create content synchronised with music, similar to TikTok. The platform has over 65 million users and 250 million downloads.

Triller co-owner, Ryan Kavanaugh, has always viewed the medium as an entertainment short-form platform. He refers to Triller’s demographic as a ‘culture graphic’, relating to anyone interested in R n’ B, rap and hip-hop music. Ryan identified synergies between boxing and the film industry. They’re controlled by a few people and have held the same commercial structure over a long period, causing them to lose an audience. Therefore, Kavanaugh was ambitious enough to approach the boxing world by utilising his entertainment background to regenerate boxing to a new audience.  

Tyson vs Jones Jnr

Triller made its first foray into sport by staging and showing Mike Tyson’s (R) fight against fellow veteran Roy Jones Jr (L) last month (Getty Images for Triller)

Tyson made it clear he wanted to return to the ring to face Roy Jones Jnr last year. Ryan exploited the opportunity by making this bout their first-EVER boxing event. This event was more than two nostalgic legends punch seven bells out of each other; it introduced a new culture graphic wave into boxing. The commentary panel was a testament to that, considering it featured Snoop Dogg with UFC middleweight champ Israel Adesanya.

Event entertainment included live performances from music icons Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa, French Montana and many more. YouTube star, Jake Paul, featured on the undercard where he brutally KO’d retired NBA star Nate Robinson. The event build-up included an exclusive Triller docuseries for Mike Tyson and Jake Paul, highlighting their training camps ahead of fight night.  

This event tapped into many audiences across rap-pop culture, YouTube, traditional sport and boxing through the personalities Triller brought together for this fight.

Triller earned approximately an astonishing $80 million from 1.6 million PPV buys. YouTube sensation Jake Paul reportedly contributed towards 40-50% of the total PPV sales. Tyson vs Jones Jnr became the first boxing match to break the 1 million barriers since Canelo Alvarez & GGG had back-to-back bouts in 2017 & 18. Each Tyson docuseries episode generated at least 2.5 million views. Iron Mike earned $5 million, with Jones Jnr walking away with $1 million from the occasion.

The aftermath of this revolutionary contest then saw Triller announce in collaboration with Snoop Dogg the formation of ‘the fight club’, a new celebrity boxing league.

Jake Paul: bridging the gap between MMA and boxing world

Jake Paul celebrating his win against Anesongib: https://edition.cnn.com/2020/01/31/sport/jake-paul-anesongib-knockout-spt-intl/index.html

What are the odds that a YouTuber would become a significant personality in boxing? Since becoming a 2-0 pro boxer, Jake Paul has been riding the self-promotional train like there’s no tomorrow. He’s been calling out and trolling a series of fighters for a boxing match. Some names include Conor McGregor, Tommy Fury, Dillon Danis, Nate Diaz, Ben Askren and Michael Bisping. These incentives soon found Jake the highest-ranked search result on Google for ‘Conor McGregor’, ‘Dana White’ and ‘The UFC’.

Now, the Ohio born will be fighting UFC veteran Ben Askren this April at the Mercedes Benz Stadium on Triller for a PPV price of $49.99. A week before this was announced, Jake did a live stream on Triller to tease he’s got a boxing opponent confirmed, which became Triller’s highest-viewed live stream.

Kavanaugh is confident Paul vs Askren will achieve 2 million PPV buys. If so, this will surpass PPV figures of the legendary bout between Tyson & Jones Jnr, and it will be one of the top 5 PPV events. On TrillerTV, Jake’s created a weekly series focusing on his rise to a pro boxer and reportedly has an exclusive Triller pre-fight docuseries coming soon.  

Kavanaugh has also confirmed the Paul vs Askren card will similarly be set up to the Tyson vs Jones Jnr event. Live music, entertainment and hysterical commentary from Snoop Dogg to build excitement for the primary occasion. Not only does this fight welcome a diverse set of culture graphics, but it’s also revolutionising boxing’s narrative through personalised and direct content. Trillers’ exclusive features involving TrillerTV, Triller live, and the docuseries empower this modern fan engagement approach.

Lopez vs Kambosos

Teofimo Lopez’ twitter anoouncement: https://www.fightsports.tv/triller-wins-purse-bid-for-teofimo-lopez-vs-george-kambosos/

Earlier this year, the streaming platform made a shocking move by successfully outbidding Matchroom Boxing and Top Rank for the undisputed lightweight title bout between Teofimo Lopez and George Kambosos. Triller offered a whopping $6,180,000 compared to Matchroom’s $3.5m and Top Rank’s $2.3 million.

Eddie Hearn, Matchroom Boxing director, endorsed Triller’s move to demonstrate boxings value to drive new subscribers to a diverse platform. He’s quite right; this incentive engages two audience segments, including Gen Z culture graphics combined with traditional boxing fans.  

Talks have emerged of Mike Tyson potentially returning to fight again against US boxing legend Evander Holyfield. Kavanaugh is keen to get Lopez vs Kambosos as Tyson vs Holyfield’s co-main card if it happens.

How does all of this change boxing?

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – NOVEMBER 28: Mike Tyson enters the ring during Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr. presented by Triller at Staples Center on November 28, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Triller)

Triller is following DAZN’s footsteps to evolving streaming sites to significant competitors in the traditional broadcasting landscape. The Proxima owned-app has introduced a new next-gen culture graphic to boxing; this is an audience the sport has struggled to engage for some time. The narrative behind boxing events is changing to a more personalised and direct approach. Utilising in-app features where event personalities can create content to build an appetite for the primary occasion proves effective to keep boxing ahead of the digital curve.


Published by Ash

I'm a First-Class Graduate in Sports Business Management who has worked across Local Government, Sport and the Third Sector. Throughout my career, I've developed a thriving passion to promote sport being used as a tool to bring positivity to the world we live in. This ethos has inspired me to create a website which champions this value through comprehensive online content for you to gain value from. Join me on this journey of discovering what sport can do to enhance society.

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