The November 2020 fight between Mike Tyson versus Roy Jones Jr. was huge for several reasons. This had been Tyson’s first fight in nearly 15 years and a first for Triller, the social media platform known for its video-sharing capabilities instead of sporting events. Nonetheless, the fight was a success, except for the two fighters who claimed they were never paid in full for their participation.
Nearly five months later, on March 19, Tyson uploaded a message on Instagram stating, “Just to be clear, there is no Tyson with Triller fight. I don’t know any Triller executives personally. I don’t have a deal with Triller or any head executive representing them for the next event…” He added, “I will never do another event or any business with Triller so anyone misrepresenting that they own the rights to my name or my next even isn’t true. I am not with or ever will be with Triller’s Fight Club.”
However, according to Triller’s CEO Ryan Kavanaugh, not only was the former heavyweight champion paid in full, but Kavanaugh says per their contractual agreement, they have rights to Tyson’s next exhibition event, be it the highly anticipated fight with Evander Holyfield or anyone else. Kavanaugh also claims to have tangible proof that his company paid Tyson the agreed amount of $30 million.
In a statement to Clutch Points, Kavanaugh stated that “It is unquestionable that we have a contractual right to your next fight, including but not limited to Evander. Having spent over $30 million dollars on your first fight while being told it was a crazy risk no one would take was only because and for this right to a Tyson-Holyfield fight. We also entered into an agreement directly with Evander.”
Kavanaugh also sent a letter to the former boxer addressing the issue after the 54-year-old announced his refusal to continue to work with the social media platform. The businessman’s statement also suggests that someone from Tyson’s camp may be behind the financial confusion.
“Triller spent over $30 million on your fight against Roy Jones Jr. More than $25 million of that was paid to Frontline, Legends Only League, and your affiliates; our understanding is that you personally should have walked away with at least $15 million, if not more,” the letter read. “We are unaware of your arrangement with your other partners in Legends Only or Frontline, however, and ask if perhaps somehow you weren’t made aware of the money paid into your entity. … Hearing about some recent comments you’ve made to people in the boxing world, I am starting to suspect that you received only a fraction of the $25 million we sent to you. I’ve heard from multiple sources that you have been made to believe that we did not pay you in full and that you believe you have taken legal action against us.”
Bad Left Hook reported that as of late Tyson’s team has reached out to “settle the pending suit” filed by Triller against the star, which they noted, “Triller took no pleasure in filing, but became unavoidable after your team attempted to move forward on another fight in violation of our agreement and rights.”