Eddie Hearn has come out in defence of the YouTube stars he’s promoting, insisting boxers can actually learn something from KSI and Logan Paul.
The online celebrities go head-to-head for the second time on November 9 in the world famous Staples Center in Los Angeles, 15 months after fighting to a draw in Manchester.
It is expected to be broadcast on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK. Both YouTubers were granted professional licences by the California State Athletic Commission and the bout will be broadcast on subscription service DAZN in America.
Speaking to The Sportsman, Eddie Hearn, says: “They’re both geniuses. Very clever people. They’re well educated, they’ve built an incredible fan base and have generated a lot of money from that popularity.
“They’re very smart and social media is very important. They can definitely show fighters how to gain a following.”
But he played down the likelihood of more YouTubers appearing on the undercard. Many fans online were hopeful of seeing Logan Paul’s brother Jake take on AnEsobGib, another YouTuber who has impressed in the ring before.
But Hearn said: “Well, they’re talking about the brother Jake Paul and AnEsonGib. These are huge Youtube stars who want to be on this. “I’ve had singers, sports stars saying ‘I’ll come on it’, but that’s not really what it’s about. KSI and Logan Paul have both boxed before and they are two huge names from that internet community. I think one fight will be enough for this year.
“The aim was to headline with that YouTube fight (KSI vs Logan Paul), but to also showcase World Championship Boxing to that new audience.
“We will see what happens, but I’m happy with KSI vs Logan Paul and some World Championship Boxing beneath it.”
One professional fighter who has already been confirmed to fight on the undercard on November 9 is Billy Joe Saunders who will make his American debut and defend his world title. Hearn confirmed it was a bout to build his profile stateside: “Absolutely, he’s never boxed there before so obviously he doesn’t have much profile outside the Lemieux fight and any other fights that have been aired there.
“It was the case of boxing in America on one show, or boxing on this show which is 20 times bigger, so it was a bit of a no brainer.
“Obviously it’s a new audience, we want to showcase great fights to that new audience. Devin Haney and Billy Joe Saunders is a great way to do that so it’s a big opportunity for Billy Joe making his US debut.”