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Netflix’s next live sports event is a kinda sad Mike Tyson fight

Netflix is expanding its reach into live broadcasts with an exhibition fight between YouTuber Jake Paul and the former heavyweight champion of almost 40-years ago, Iron Mike Tyson.

The bout will take place on July 20 at the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas and will see 57-year-old Tyson tackle the social media influencer 30-years his junior.

The bout will continue Paul’s penchant for taking-on ageing former combat sport greats, with decades of damage noted on the MOT.

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That stadium holds 80,000, but there’ll be millions of Netflix subscribers worldwide tuning into the fight, largely out of curiosity for the event, which can kindly be described as “unorthodox” and unkindly described as an out-and-out “freak show”.

In a press release, Netflix described the “historic” event as “pure drama” while Tyson himself said he’s “looking forward” to the bout with Paul, who has disrupted boxing with influencer-centric cards and cross discipline match-ups.

“[Paul has] 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 off on his boxing journey on the undercard of my fight with Roy Jones and now I plan to finish him,” Tyson said in a press release.

Netflix has been gradually dipping its toes into live content; having experimented with a Chris Rock stand-up show and a strange crossover event between golfers and formula one drivers; based upon its Drive to Survive and Full Swing original shows.

Netflix’s is preparing for a major, weekly expansion into live broadcasting by acquiring the rights to broadcast WWE RAW from next January in the United States, in a $5 billion deal that will see also Netflix become the de facto home for WWE content in the UK, among other nations.

Some might argue that the exhibition bout between Tyson and Paul is far more like WWE than a live, competitive sporting event.

Paul’s equally infamous, energy drink-hawking brother Logan is currently tearing it up as the United States Champion in WWE, where at least they’re open about the outcome being somewhat predetermined.

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