Mike Tyson, whose first bout after his release from prison earned $96m (pounds 63.3m) in pay-per-view income, will be seen for free on television in the United States when he fights Buster Mathis Jnr on 4 November.
The promoter Don King, who negotiated the deal with Showtime cable television and the Fox TV broadcast network, called it "Mike's way of saying thanks to the American people."
Others have interpreted it as a way of rebuilding interest in Tyson after viewers had to pay around $50 to see the 89-second victory against Peter McNeeley.
It is also seen as a snub for the pay-per-view outlet, TVKO, which is due to show Evander Holyfield and Riddick Bowe at Caesars Palace on the same night. Although a spokesman said :"We believe we have the better fight. The pay-per-view audience will go for quality."
Rights in the United Kingdom have been sold to Sky Sports which, like Fox, is owned by Rupert Murdoch.
n Chris Eubank has been offered pounds 150,000 to fight Montell Griffin, the World Council's No 2 rated light-heavyweight. Griffin's manager, Frank Maloney, wants the fight at the Royal Albert Hall in November.