Youtubers KSI and Logan Paul are re-matching against one another in their first professional boxing fight.
Their first unlicensed fight attracted a sold out crowd of 21,000 fans at the M.E.N. Arena, and cashed in on a record 1.1 million PPV buys.
With the success of their first fight, boxing kingpin promoter Eddie Hearn, came to the table with an offer to promote their rematch.
The rematch is being sold as a professional boxing fight, both KSI and Logan Paul are headlining the show, with WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders co-headlining the fight, and rising star Devin Haney will also be fighting for the WBC lightweight title.
With the hype that this rematch has attracted, it has left many sporting fans asking, is this event healthy for boxing?
Frank Warren has lashed out recently stating that the fight is a farce, and that both fighters would not last against an amateur fighter. He also went on to accuse Hearn of setting up the fight only for his bank account. Professional fighters such as local Liverpool star Antony Fowler has also took to social media to joke about the event.
On the build up to this fight week, I have noticed how this fight has attracted such a bigger audience compared to their first fight. It has now attracted two markets, the ‘casual’ boxing fans, and the ‘hardcore’ boxing fans. However, the majority of the audience are non-hardcore boxing fans. Due to the fighters’ huge social media audience, this fight has brought the sport of boxing to a bigger market.
Eddie Hearn recently shared the fact that this fight is very unique. A normal boxing show would attract 70% of the hardcore boxing audience, and 30% of the casual audience, however for this fight, it is the complete opposite.
This brings a whole new audience to boxing, and with Ryan Garcia, Canelo Alvarez, KSI, Logan Paul and Anthony Joshua all fighting within 3 months from each other, boxing has never looked as healthy.
Although the view point of some boxing fighters and promoters can be respected, boxing is a business, and fighters are the products being sold to the audience. Many professional fighters cannot sell out the M.E.N. arena or headline the Staples Centre, and no fighter can do it in their first two fights.
Therefore, the event in itself can only be respected, rather than it being seen as a mockery to boxing, it should embraced and celebrated.
World Champion Billy Joe stated that he has no quarrels with Eddie Hearn for being on the undercard of the youtubers’ fight, as he believes that they have earnt their spot by proving they can sell out arenas and bring a huge crowd to the sport.
This fight has shown to bring a new audience to the sport, and this opportunity can be capitalised to show the greatness of the boxing. With world champions on the undercard, it also gives them an opportunity to gain new fans and build their own profile to a bigger scale.
Eddie Hearn has once again proved how he is currently the best boxing promoter on the planet, he saw this as a great business opportunity and took it. This event will more than likely be a success, and if both youtubers decide to continue with their professional boxing careers after this fight, the sport will only continue to progress at a much faster pace.