Famous youtuber Logan Paul looks set for a fight with arguably the greatest boxer of all time five-weight world champion Floyd Mayweather. Yes, you read that right a famous youtuber. Meanwhile his brother Jake Paul has challenged Conor McGregor, along with his wife, in a hilariously bad call out video. What is going on?
Some people will point to the McGregor and Mayweather fight for spawning these weird exhibition matches. Many at the time viewed it making a mockery of boxing, I mean a man making his debut in the squared circle going up against the undefeated “Money” Mayweather. Money being the integral part of that sentence. Mayweather made a reported 250 million for stepping into the ring. Youtube were obviously looking at this and thinking, hey we can do that, and they did. After this fight we seen the rise of Youtubers stepping into the ring, KSI fought Joe Weller early 2018, amassing 21 million views in its first day. The video streaming site knew they were onto something and from that a monster was born.
On the 25th of August 2018 Youtube promoted the fight as “the biggest internet event in history”. It was a white collar boxing event pitting KSI against the American Logan Paul. Not only that but to up the antes both competitors brothers were also fighting each other in the co-main event. The fight raked in an estimated 150 million dollars, let that sink in 150 million for a white collar boxing event.
With that type of purse, a rematch was always on the horizon. This time it was done under a professional setting, with Eddie Hearn putting all his might behind it. The fighters were properly trained in a camp with KSI under the tutelage of Jeff Mayweather – uncle and ex-trainer of former Floyd – and Paul by former two time world heavyweight champion Shannon Briggs. Many ex fighters praised this move and heralded both “fighters professionalism” while others viewed the whole event as an insult. On the undercard was Billy Joe Saunders defending his WBO title, think about that, a world champion is on the undercard of a fight between two guys making their professional debut.
Here is the full fight in question :
No doubt, both fighters deserved to be praised, stepping in the ring is no easy feat. However it begs the question why do people watch boxing? Sublime Skill? Technical ability? or are we just watching for pure spectacle? The flutter of excitement at the possibility of a knockout. Maybe an older generation could appreciate the nuance of a Ali rope-a-dope. Now people want immediate excitement brought on by impact and if they don’t get it, they will simply flick onto the next video. The people want car crashes and explosions.
Mike Tyson recently claimed that boxing owes a debt of gratitude to youtubers. In the world of fighting where the UFC reigns supreme, the social media stars have attracted young eyes to the sport. A whole new generation may only now be discovering Tyson thanks to Logan Paul. Coincidentally “Iron” Mike has also recently made a comeback a 15 year absence, in an exhibition match against Roy Jones JR.
Hopefully the knock on effect of this will have young people getting down to their local boxing gym much like the “Rocky” movies did to other generations every time they were released.
While Tyson may have a point, but once the novelty of these gimmick matches wear out, where do we go? Using MMA outfit Pride as an example, they promoted fights between all different weight classes with various athletes from different disciplines before ultimately fizzling out. Is that the next gimmick? Tag – Team Boxing maybe? Is Mayweather going to go into professional wrestling next? oh wait……
In fairness both Tyson , Ali and Mayweather have all made appearence in Pro wrestling. However that was always with the intention of bringing eyes to Pro wrestling, its sad that boxing now need these social media personalities to bring eyes to the sport.