KSI vs Logan Paul: A Different View
By Jonny Rashman – It’s been said many times that you “can’t reinvent the wheel.” Whether it’s a specific way to train a professional athlete or run a takeaway shop, there’s a blueprint to follow, but what if this blueprint was turned upside down?
The KSI vs Logan Paul rematch is a boxing contest that should be played out in an alternative universe. It’s the equivalent of 11 Manchester United supporters being asked to play in an official premier league match. Sounds absurd right?
This idea may not be that farfetched, especially if those 11 supporters amassed the social media views that the two YouTubers have. What is a YouTuber? Simple, a person who uploads, produces, or appears in videos on the video-sharing website. How has this translated in both men headlining one of the most watched boxing fights of all time? Views!
For those of you over the age of 30 who have never heard of both men, here are some facts:
Tale of the Tape
Logan Paul – KSI
American Nationality United Kingdom
25 Age 26
15M Facebook 2M
16M Instagram 6.5M
5M Twitter 4.9M
19M YouTube 20M
0 Pro Fights 0
$19M Net worth $5M
The first fight between the two novices was a 6 round white-collar contest, except, rather than being fought in front of 100 people at a local bingo hall, it was held at the Manchester arena, In front of a capacity crowd of 21,000.
With ticket sales of £2.7 million and an estimated pay-per-view revenue of £8 million. It was always going to be hard for the boxing money men to ignore.
The scale of both men’s fanbase is unexplainable, a true phenomenon. Scrolling through Social Media, my eyebrows raised repeatedly at the astronomical views both men attracted.
A music video from Paul, called “The Fall of Jake Paul” is painful to watch, I’ve seen more talent in my shower, yet, it produced an eye watering 237, 032, 856 views, yes, that’s over 200 million views!
To put that into context, Beyoncé’s new song Spirit has just over 41 million views, and Eminem’s song Fall, has a 150 million views. The weigh in for the first bout generated over 7 million views. In comparison, Mayweather vs McGregor attracted over 2 million views. The numbers are there to see.
This time around, the rematch will be on a professionally promoted boxing card, on November 9th, In Los Angeles, at the Staple Centre. The same venue that hosted Fury Vs Wilder and will be shown live on the streaming platform DAZN, with elite fighters and a reported World Championship bout on the undercard.
After initially ruling out any involvement in promoting the fight, British promoter Eddie Hearn found the numbers too hard to ignore. Can you blame him? If there was ever a boxing contest that doesn’t need promoting, it’s this one.
While Hearn has rightfully received stick for the Ruiz vs Joshua Saudi Arabia fiasco. I don’t have a problem with him promoting this event. No matter what your opinion is, you can’t deny the numbers and views which will be generated. Even though, by his own admission he “likes a pound note”, I feel Hearn’s hand may have been forced in promoting this contest.
DAZN lives & dies by their subscribers, what’s better than hosting a fight between two of the most viewed personalities on the planet? If 1% of both men’s YouTube audience start to follow boxing, that’s 400,000 new fans. You just can’t ignore that.
The easy thing would be to denigrate the fight, insult everyone involved and call it a mockery to the sport. While the latter may be correct, is it really going to harm our beloved sport? more eyes and a different fanbase can only be a positive in my book.
The Twitter universe went in to overdrive as soon as the bout was confirmed. A surprising divide in opinion was eagerly typed out. “Anything for a pound note, disappointed in Eddie Hearn for selling out, more views are good for boxing, put it in Saudi Arabia” were some of the comments on display.
Respected sports broadcaster Steve Bunce wrote “I had no trouble pushing Paul v KSI when it was a prank/mad/fun fight. I loved that it did great numbers. It’s trickier now that they are in my business, a business of honourable & hardened professional boxers. There should be no shortcuts, not for boxers, promoters or managers.”
First of all, Steve, boxing is not your business, furthermore, there will be “honourable & hardened professional boxers, who will generate more publicity and earn more money by fighting on this card, than they would have in their whole career. How is that tricky?
If we’re being honest, how many fans actually watch a whole boxing card? especially a soul destroying boring one, with uncompetitive fights, bereft of any atmosphere?
Granted’ KSI and Logan Paul should be nowhere near a professional boxing ring. However, if they’re fighting alongside well-known fighters and musical entertainment is in the mix. Where is the harm in that?
Whilst it may not be the norm to have professional fighters and white-collar fighters sharing a card. It may be fun to see. Boxing must evolve to stay relevant. Shows like the Ultimate Boxer, MTK’s Golden Contract Tournament and the World Boxing Super Series highlights a change to traditional boxing shows.
The biggest bugbear from the boxing community is the professional aspect to the card. In a controversial move, WBO Super Middleweight Champion, Billy Joe Saunders, is reportedly set to defend his title on the undercard, which has been described as an insult to the sport.
If you think outside of the box, it’s a genius move for Billy Joe to fight on the card. As a two weight World Champion and one of the most technically gifted fighters on the planet, his profile is dreadfully low. He should be a household name in the United Kingdom.
Mistakes and inactivity have plagued the British man’s career. There’s a reason superstar such as GGG and Saul Alverez have been so reluctant to share the ring with him. By fighting on a card with as much publicity as this one, is only going to enhance his popularity.
We live in a society where we depend on views, likes, and comments. We can either bury our head in the sand and pretend it’s not relevant or we can embrace it and enjoy the ride.