Whomever is on the marketing team at Triller, the promoter of this weekend’s Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren boxing match in Atlanta being shown live on pay-per-view, they’ve certainly landed the most ... eclectic event you might ever see.
Full disclosure: It gets weird.
America’s most historic and storied sport is re-envisioned as a four-quadrant entertainment spectacle with Emmy-winning filmmaker Bert Marcus bringing a never-before-seen cinematic style to boxing.
Alright! What does that mean?
Triller Fight Club today announced one of the most unique and disruptive broadcast lineups for the inaugural Triller Fight Club 2021 event on April 17 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
As someone that’s worked for startup companies, never trust anyone or anything that leads with “disruptive.” But let’s see what’s happening anyway.
Wait, there’s a concert?
First of all there is a legit A-list of music performances on tap, including Justin Bieber, The Black Keys, Doja Cat, Saweetie, Diplo, Major Lazer and also Mt. Westmore ... which is Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, Too $hort and E-40 performing together for the first time.
If that was the lineup for a day at Coachella, you’d be pretty pumped to have tickets. A crazy amount of star power for any festival, much less a boxing show? No idea how much this cost, but Triller isn’t doing this on the cheap.
Who else will be on the broadcast?
Mario Lopez was AC Slater on Saved By The Bell, and we refuse to acknowledge any of his later work. Slater was of course an All-State wrestler at Bayside High, so he’s an expert in combat sports obviously.
Also the multi-sport athlete Slater has already been challenged by Ben Askren to yet another bout after this one is over.
2021 is full of surprises... Let’s go my man! https://t.co/xr2SnuUxFh— Mario Lopez (@mariolopezviva) February 5, 2021
If you’re over 35, feel free to skip this section
Thinking “boy this whole thing seems weird?” You haven’t even seen the half of it!
Supermodel Taylor Hill, who has 15.5 million followers on Instagram, will also be involved in the broadcast in some way.
You’ll also see “social media stars” Charli D’Amelio and Dixie D’Amelio (40 million and 24 million followers on Instagram respectively). They’re sisters, and they’re very, very big on the TikTok with 163 million combined. I’m on the wrong side of 30 and so by law was not allowed to be aware who they were until this morning, but a scan of their most recent posts shows they both can dance, and Dixie is OBSESSED with her boyfriend. They seem happy. I hope he’s good to her.
Finally Snoop Dogg is back for one more turn at the announce desk after his legendary performance in the Triller-promoted fight between Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. last year. He was fantastic the last time out, let’s hope he gets as much room to run here.
And then the latest addition: Saturday Night Live’s Pete Davidson! Because ... reasons! He’ll be on color commentary. Marijuana is not yet legal in the state of Georgia, but we’re having Davidson and Snoop share a set anyway? Can’t see how this goes wrong.
How about if I’m an actual boxing fan?
As for the boxing? The play-by-play call will have some actual boxing broadcasting legends in Al Bernstein, Mike Coppinger, and Ray Flores. ESPN fans will recognize Bernstein from decades on TV as a historian of the sport, and Flores is a well-known ring announcer and play-by-play guy.
Honestly I would pay extra for a feed directly from the green room. Known Yankees fan Al Bernstein ranting about the designated hitter, while Taylor Hill is testing ring lights for shimmer while standing right next to each other is actually more compelling than the fights. And if a E-40-The Black Keys collab comes out of this, I’ll be over the moon.
From the director Bert Marcus:
“Viewers on April 17 will be immersed into a world unlike anything they could imagine, a true movie-like experience that reinvents the great sport of boxing by taking them into the ring in ways they’ve never seen before and also deep into the behind-the-scenes action with our fighters and musical performers as it unfolds in real time,” said Marcus. “We’re thrilled to have Pete, Mario, Taylor, Dixie and Charli as well as Snoop, Ray, Al and Mike as our incredible commentating team to lead people through the action. They will be unapologetically themselves, creating a vibe that is culturally savvy, raw and unexpected.”
I have no idea what to make of all this. But it’s $50 to watch it, and if you’re targeting the middle of boxing fans, extremely online teens, and old-school Top 40 and hip-hop music fans on a Venn diagram, I can’t see how you could be more successful.