Netflix Fight Night: Mike Tyson to Battle Jake Paul in “Boxing Mega-Event” Streaming Live in July

Netflix is getting into combat sports in a major way, picking up what it is calling a “boxing mega-event” that will see the controversial former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson face off against YouTuber-turned-fighter Jake Paul.

Paul’s Most Valuable Promotions is partnering with Netflix on the event, which will stream live on the platform July 20 from AT&T Stadium in Dallas.

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The match will be included for all Netflix subscribers (many other boxing bouts still use a pay-per-view model), though tickets will be sold to fill the 80,000-seat arena. There will also be a co-main event and undercard bouts.

“Mike Tyson is one of the biggest icons in boxing history and Jake Paul is one of the biggest disruptors in boxing history,” Gabe Spitzer, vp nonfiction sports for Netflix, said in a statement. “Saturday, July 20 will be pure drama in the ring in Texas. We are thrilled to partner with Most Valuable Promotions for this historic event and we can’t wait for these two to face off for fans all across the world on Netflix.”

The boxing match is a significant expansion of Netflix’s live sports strategy. The streaming giant inked a 10-year deal with the WWE valued at more than $5 billion in January, but executives noted at the time that the WWE blurs the line between sports and entertainment.

Instead, Mike Tyson vs. Jake Paul is a bit closer to The Netflix Slam, which saw tennis stars Carlos Alcaraz and Rafael Nadal face off in Las Vegas this past weekend; or The Netflix Cup, which was the company’s first foray into live sports with PGA Tour stars pairing with Formula 1 drivers in a golf event.

Terms of the deal to stream the match were not disclosed, though a source familiar with the deal framed it as being significant. For past recent fights, Paul and Tyson have been guaranteed payouts in the single digit millions, while also securing a percentage of the pay-per-view revenue.

Boxing, of course, was once a TV staple, with fights airing late at night on broadcast TV, before migrating to HBO, Showtime, and pay-per-view.

HBO exited the boxing business in 2018, with Showtime shuttering its sports division (including its boxing matches) last year. In recent years, boxing has had something of a resurgence, thanks in part to digital creators like Paul, his brother Logan Paul and KSI, among others, entering the sport. The Paul brothers were popular YouTube creators before training for the ring.

Jake Paul actually boxed former NBA star Nate Robinson in a 2020 undercard match in which Tyson was in the main event.

“It’s crazy to think that in my second pro fight, I went viral for knocking out Nate Robinson on Mike Tyson’s undercard. Now, less than four years later, I’m stepping up to face Tyson myself to see if I have what it takes to beat one of boxing’s most notorious fighters and biggest icons,” Paul said in a statement. “Within just two and a half years of founding MVP, we’re about to produce the biggest fight in history, a fight in the biggest NFL stadium in the US, broadcast live, on the biggest streaming platform in the world — a testament to all we’ve accomplished in such a short amount of time.”

“I’m very much looking forward to stepping into the ring with Jake Paul at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas,” added Tyson in a statement. “He’s grown significantly as a boxer over the years, so it will be a lot of fun to see what the will and ambition of a ‘kid’ can do with the experience and aptitude of a GOAT.  It’s a full-circle moment that will be beyond thrilling to watch; as I started him on his boxing journey on the undercard of my fight with Roy Jones and now I plan to finish him.”

“Jake Paul vs. Mike Tyson is a once in a lifetime dream matchup and I anticipate it will be the most-watched boxing event in modern boxing history,” added Nakisa Bidarian, founder of Most Valuable Promotions. “Partnering with Netflix for this deal presents an unparalleled opportunity to bring Jake Paul vs. Mike Tyson to the world on an unprecedented scale and we look forward to delivering this incredible clash of two of sports biggest names.”

Legal representation for Most Valuable Promotions and Jake Paul was provided by Michael B. Abramson of Solomon Ward. Mike Tyson was represented by Andrew Ruf at Paradigm.

Netflix has also become a major player in the sports documentary space, with docs focusing on teams and stars in the NFL, MLB, NBA, Formula 1, NASCAR, the PGA Tour, pro tennis and others all available or coming soon to the service.

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