On July 20, 2024, Mike Tyson is getting back in the ring where he’ll face Jake Paul. In what I believe will be the biggest exhibition boxing match to date, Paul has the most to lose. When Tyson won his first title in 1986, he was at that time the youngest heavyweight champion ever at just 20 years old. He has lived many lives since then. In the past few years, he has been in a lot better shape. The once 300-pound Tyson we remember in The Hangover is no more. Once he began getting his finances and family more in order, fitness followed. The weight loss allowed many people to believe that he could still be proficient in a boxing ring for the right price.

That came to fruition a couple of years ago. Roy Jones Jr. and Mike Tyson faced off in a Triller-sponsored exhibition. In what was seen as a major success for an event of its kind, it also demonstrated that Tyson still had speed and power left. The business relationship between Triller and Tyson withered away, but there was still intrigue in another exhibition match. If anything, it had to make sense. What makes sense you say? Dollars of course!

Photo: Joe Scarnici via Getty Images for Triller

Enter, Jake Paul who has become a viral sensation in recent years by participating in boxing exhibitions without traditionally coming up through the ranks. His smug personality has made his face a punchable one for most. But ironically, he has found success in these exhibitions. Paul currently sits at 9-1 in this contest, and many believe that he has found his biggest test in Tyson.

So, in walks Netflix, who has been flirting with live-streaming broadcasts more often. Like its streaming counterparts, Netflix sees the value in appointment television. Sports is the last version of entertainment that truly is appointment television. With Netflix signing on to broadcast WWE Monday Night Raw in 2025, you can bet that we’ll continue to see more live sporting events put on by the brand. This fight between Tyson and Paul became a no-brainer to promote.

Photo: Joe Scarnici via Getty Images for Triller

With a rumored $20 million purse for each fighter, the business of it all seems to be an afterthought. Hell, for damn near all of us, it’s a no-brainer. Now we can contextualize this moment, and what the actual appeal of this event is. In a macro sense, supreme Black talent is the biggest proponent of revenue for these streaming services. We bring the eyes, and we bring the cool. This fight is just another example of that.

Netflix first made waves with their deals for talent with Dave Chappelle, who was reportedly paid around $20 million per special under the initial six-special deal. The big deals kept on coming, as Chris Rock also inked a $20 million per special deal with Netflix. One of those specials saw Netflix broadcast its first live-streaming event with Selective Outrage. Of course that was the special in which Rock would finally address “The Slap.”

Another example of Black talent being profitable is with Amazon and Max. Respectively, they broadcast live NFL and NBA games. Those leagues feature rosters that are overwhelmingly Black. So, that brings us back to Tyson, his star power, and his reputation as a fighter. Tyson’s legacy is what truly sells this fight. We all wonder if he still has it. Paul is someone people will pay to see lose, but he isn’t someone the casual fan would check out. Tyson is the draw, and it further cements that when Black people are prolific, we’re undeniable. Albeit an exhibition, with 50 fights to his name and only six losses, don’t bet on Paul being his seventh.