With heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis waiting in the wings, former champion
Mike Tyson will fight journeyman Ray Mercer in a Jan. 19 pay-per-view event,
Showtime Networks Inc. announced Tuesday.
The fight will be the first PPV appearance for Tyson since October 2000, when
he drew about 400,000 buys for a fight against Andrew Golota. The suggested
retail price for the event will be $39.95.
'What we've seen this year is that PPV needs some help, and this fight will
give the industry a revenue lift, as well as some momentum for a more
significant payday down the road,' SNI executive vice president of corporate
strategy and communications Mark Greenberg said.
That payday could be an April Lewis-Tyson showdown.
Both Showtime, which has a television deal with Tyson, and Home Box Office,
which has a multifight TV deal with Lewis, have been negotiating a co-promotion
agreement for the event, although no deal has been completed