Barstool Sports founder and lead personality Dave Portnoy has never been shy about speaking his mind, especially when it comes to people he feels have wronged him. Enter: Jose Canseco. The former World Series champion fought in Barstool’s Rough N Rowdy, although the word “fought” might be a bit generous. The match against Barstool personality Billy Football lasted twelve seconds before he called it quits with a shoulder injury, leading to Portnoy blasting Canseco on social media and vowing to add a “morality clause” to the company’s future boxing contracts.
Let’s back up a bit for those out of the loop. Barstool Sports periodically puts on boxing matches under the banner Rough N Rowdy. These fights occasionally feature Barstool personalities. This past weekend’s main event was between Billy Football, who sometimes appears on the hit podcast Pardon My Take, and former MLB All-Star Jose Canseco. Canseco was reportedly paid $50,000 for his appearance and would be paid another $50,000 if he won. There was also a revenue share that kicked in if the event broke thresholds for pay per view purchases, which it did. So, in all, he made more than a million dollars… for 12 seconds of fight action.
Obviously Dave Portnoy and company felt if there was a shoulder injury, he should have disclosed that prior to taking the fight and the money. The media mogul took to Twitter to blast Canseco immediately after it happened, accusing him of “(taking) a dive.” He also yelled at fans who asked for a refund and aired out all the financial details of the fight, as well as promised there will be a morality clause in the future. You can check out one of his tweets below…
It’s easy to see why Portnoy isn’t a happy camper about Canseco’s performance or lack thereof. Barstool is in the entertainment business, and there’s not a whole lot entertaining about a 12 second fight. That being said, there’s a lot to be excited about for Portnoy and Barstool CEO Erika Nardini too. If adding a celebrity, even one that’s not exactly A-List to the bill, is able to drive all-time sales records to the tune of giving Canseco more than a million dollars in revenue share money, there’s probably a lot of upside with bringing in a bigger name.
Logan Paul and Jake Paul have seen similar success with their recent pay per view fights. Paul’s in particular with Nate Robinson that was the undercard to Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr put up absolutely monster numbers. Barstool has shown the ability in the past to mobilize a dedicated fanbase. Popular podcasts like Pardon My Take and Call Her Daddy routinely are near the top of the podcast charts. If they’re able to take that fanbase and add it to a group someone else is bringing to the table, it’s not unreasonable to think they could start putting up eye-popping pay per view numbers, at least provided the celebrities in question get in the ring and actually throw punches.