By: William Holmes
On Saturday night Matchroom Boxing will put on a fight card at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. This card will be televised live on DAZN and features a main event between two fighters with no professional boxing experience.
However, they are YouTube stars, and will attract an audience to the sport that traditionally does not watch boxing.
KSI and Logan Paul will meet in a rematch of their fight from 2018 that resulted in a majority draw. Their first fight was fought with headgear and was not considered a professional fight, however this fight won’t feature headgear and is considered a professional fight.
The co-main event of the evening is a WBO Super Middleweight Title Fight between Billy Joe Saunders and Marcelo Esteban Coceres. The undercard will feature boxers such as WBC Lightweight Champion Devin Haney, Ronny Rios, NIkit Ababiy, Diego Pacheco, and Isaiah Ocasio.
The following is a preview of the co-main event and main event of the evening.
Billy Joe Saunders (28-0) vs. Marcel Esteban Coceres (28-0-1); WBO Super Middleweight Title
Billy Joe Saunders had been with long time promoter Frank Warren, but has recently decided to sign with Matchroom Boxing and promoter Eddie Hearn with the hopes to face Canelo Alvarez in the future.
Saunders is often overlooked when discussing middleweight boxers, but his skill and talent is undeniable. However, a failed VADA test might have helped diminish his standing amongst boxing aficionados.
Saunders, at 30 years old, is still in his athletic prime and will have a two inch height advantage on his opponent. Coceres is twenty eight years old and is taking a big step up in competition.
The one area that Coceres has an edge on Saunders is ring activity. Coceres fought twice in 2019 and five times in 2018 while Saunders only fought once in 2019 and once in 2018. Both boxers have moderate power, with Saunders stopping thirteen of his opponents while Coceres has stopped fifteen.
Saunders has beaten the likes of David Lemieux, Willie Monroe Jr., Andy Lee, Chris Eubank Jr., John Ryder, and Gary O’ Sullivan. He was also a participant in the 2008 Olympic Games.
Coceres has spent his entire career fighting in Argentina except for one fight. His list of victories is over lesser known opponents, including Basilio Silva, Cristian Zarate, and Sebastian Lujan. He has no notable amateur experience.
This is a showcase fight for Saunders as he looks to impress a crowd that may not be familiar with his work. Coceres has a good record, but there’s little behind it. This writer expects Saunders to win rather easily on Saturday.
Logan Paul (0-0) vs. KSI (0-0); Cruiserweights
How do you preview a main event between two boxers making their professional debut?
It should be noted that they met before, at the Manchester Arena in front of 18,000 fans over six rounds. Their fight ended in a draw, with Logan Paul dominating early on but KSI coming back strong in the second half of the fight.
The scores of the fight were 57-57, 57-57, and one judge scored it 58-57 for KSI.
Paul is two years younger than KSI and will have about a two inch reach advantage.
It’s been nearly a year since they last fought and both YouTube personalities have been working hard. It should be noted that Logan Paul is a former amateur wrestler so he has more experience than KSI in going through grueling workouts.
Both guys have over 40 million YouTube subscribers between them so they should draw a decent crowd to watch them online and in person.
If Paul can improve his stamina and conditioning and not showboat during the fight like he did last time, he should come out on top.
But this is a tough fight to predict and a lot can change in one year. The question is, which man has truly committed himself to training?
Based on nothing but speculation, this writer gives a slight edge to Logan Paul.