By: Hans Themistode
When Logan Paul and KSI, two social media stars, stepped into the ring against one another in late August of 2018, it was something of a mockery and intriguing all wrapped into one. Both men were by no means considered actual fighters, but their social media followings made it a must see contest.
When the event came to a close, it left a sour taste in the mouths of many as the contest ended in a majority draw. Fast forward one year later and the pair decided to do it again.
On November 9th, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles California, the surprisingly, yet also unsurprisingly highly anticipated rematch took place. Promoting the contest was none other than Eddie Hearn. He did a great job of putting together a championship level undercard which would include WBO Super Middleweight titlist Billy Joe Saunders and WBC Lightweight belt holder Devin Haney.
Still, Hearn would say again and again that this contest between Youtubers would be just a one off. Now that the event has come and gone and the numbers have been tallied, Hearn suddenly has a change of heart.
“It has actually changed my stance,” said Hearn. We’re numbers people in this game. Everyone is. Anything that delivers is good news for everybody. What we can’t do is turn into a circus and have random people fighting each other all over the place. It’s a one off in that respect for me in terms of headlining a card, with a world championship undercard. I don’t think you’re going to see that a lot. Will you see other YouTubers fight on undercards moving forward? Much more likely.”
This isn’t exactly the sort of news that older boxing fans wanted to hear. Many of the older fans of the sport felt that two fighters who haven’t had any serious experience in a boxing ring shouldn’t have been headlining such a major card in one of the most famed arenas in the world. Yet, it happened and those same fans are hoping to never see it again.
Don’t hold your breath.
We could be headed for more of these celebrity style matchups in the not so distant future.
Don’t simply cast aspersions on Hearn. These high profile contests could come from just about every promoter down the line.
“If it’s thrilling, if it’s exciting, you’re going to see many more of these, and it won’t just come from me,” said Hearn. “It will come from other promoters who look at the numbers and say, ‘we’ve got to do this.’ We can’t satisfy the demand of all of these celebrities and YouTubers.”
It might not be what fans wanted to hear, but it is a reality they will now have to deal with.