The event marks the first of the year for Triller Fight Club, a new project announced in December as a partnership between Triller Network (the media company home to the short-form video app which bears its name), Kavanaugh and Snoop Dogg. It builds off of Triller Network's November livestream of the Mike Tyson v. Roy Jones Jr. fight, which included performances from artists like French Montana and Wiz Khalifa.
Now, Triller Fight Club aims to reinvigorate the sport of boxing for Gen-Z fans by broadcasting more pay-per-view boxing matches in a cinematic style alongside music performances from A-list stars. Marcus, the filmmaker behind Netflix's The American Meme and HBO's The Apollo, describes the upcoming event as "Stranger Things meets Quentin Tarantino."
"Triller has already begun to revolutionize the great American sport of boxing," he says. "I’m proud to be taking it to the next level and lead the direction of an unprecedented sporting event through the lens of music entertainment and unmatched behind-the-scenes access, particularly during this time when people haven't had many chances to share important cultural experiences."
The April 17 event will be broadcast from the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on pay-per-view television; the FITE.tv and FITE apps; and TrillerFightClub.com (but not on the Triller app). The lead-up kicks off on March 19 with the world premiere of PRBLM CHILD, an original series exclusive to Triller and FITE TV promising a "raw, all-access" look into Paul's life as he trains for the fight with Askren.
More Fight Club events will follow, but even as venues eye the return of physical events, Triller has no plans to sell in-person tickets to its matches.
"One of the first rules of fight club is there are no tickets for sale to attend the event," Triller Network co-founder and co-owner Bobby Sarnevesht said. "We are maximizing the arena, cameras and lighting to bring the fight into everyone’s living room or mobile phone, so everyone who watches it will literally be immersed in the action, giving everyone a front-row seat." The only exception is Triller's plan to randomly give away 100 tickets to attend the event, with more details to come.
Triller Fight Club also reflects a push at Triller Network to be seen as a media ecosystem for both short-form and long-form content. In addition to its Triller app, Triller Network has created campaigns for brands like Pepsi, McDonald's and L'Oréal and is also home to TrillerTV, where half-hour shows include Jennifer Lopez In The Morning, 2 Chainz Let’s Do It and Fat Joe’s Masterclass. Earlier this month, Triller Network also acquired Timbaland and Swizz Beatz's wildly popular Instagram battle series Verzuz.
Even as Triller Network cozies up to the music industry, it recently clashed with Universal Music Group, which abruptly pulled its song catalog from the Triller app last month. Universal claimed that the app "shamefully withheld payments" to artists, though Triller has fiercely denied those accusations.
Fans can purchase tickets to the April 17 broadcast ($49.99 for viewers in North America) on FITE.tv or at TrillerFightClub.com. In addition to the headlining fight between Paul and Askren, the event will also feature Regis Prograis (New Orleans) v. Ivan Redkach (Shostka, Ukraine); Bad Boy Frank Mir (Las Vegas) v. Antonio Tarver (Orlando, Fla.); and Joe Fournier (London) v. music star Reykon (Envigado, Colombia).