Assuming his career is indeed over, Mike Tyson gave the cable industry one last decent payday on his way out.
Showtime Event Television's June 11 Tyson-Kevin McBride event drew more than 200,000 buys, though his unexpected loss all but ended his career as a boxer and a major PPV draw.
Showtime estimates the $44.95 PPV event — in which Tyson quit on his stool after six rounds — will generate 230,000 to 280,000 buys, according to Showtime Sports and Event Programming senior vice president and general manager Ken Hershman. The higher number translates to about a $12.5 million gross.
The fight drew more buys than Showtime anticipated — and topped the approximately 150,000 buys for Tyson's PPV knockout loss to Danny Williams last July — but fell well short of Tyson's late-1990s performances, when he regularly topped 1 million buys per fight.
After his second loss in as many years, Tyson said he would retire. If he does decide to fight again, Hershman said, it would be “very difficult” to sell him as a PPV attraction.
Showtime is planning a major fall PPV fight card, most likely with a rematch of the May 7 Diego Corrales-Jose Luis Castillo lightweight-championship fight, which aired on Showtime.