On December 31 2017, Logan Paul uploaded a video that would make him the internet’s number one villain. In that vlog, he infamously showed a recently deceased man who had commited suice in an area of Japan known as ‘Suicide Forest’ - due to its high rate of suicides. 500,000 people signed a petition demanding that his YouTube channel was permanently deleted.
The written apology came first, although that didn’t temper the public’s justified anger. The video apology that followed showed an immature man clearly in shock, unaware that his actions had affected a lot of people and like it or not, his audience had made him a role model. It was time for him to act like one.
He donated $1million dollars to suicide prevention agencies and took a three week break from YouTube to educate himself on mental health disorders and suicide but his content remained immature and childish when he returned. YouTube suspended all advertising from his channels after he tasered a rat and pretended to give a fish CPR. The content was poor and his career was in trouble, so it is not an understatement to say that boxing offered him a lifeline.
British YouTuber KSI, having beaten Joe Weller in February 2018, called out Logan Paul and the YouTube boxing scene became bigger than anybody could have imagined. This fight, fuelled by hatred, saw Britain’s biggest internet star attempt to give Paul, who was the obvious villain, a beating for what he had done in Japan.
In doing so, he dragged Paul back from the brink. The first fight ended in a draw which allowed a rematch to take place in 2019 and over the period of two years, the American began to rebuild his reputation. Although he lost the second fight, he had evidently matured as a human being during his early twenties, while these two bouts elevated his status as an online celebrity to new heights.
He has 23.1m subscribers on his main channel, which now features him taunting his upcoming opponent Floyd Mayweather as well as opening Pokemon cards. It may still be relatively childish, but at least he isn’t harming anybody. This following, as well as his upcoming boxing match, has fired him into the world of the mainstream media. He even appeared on the American version of the Masked Singer this year, but his bout with the greatest boxer of his generation puts him on a whole new level.
He is incredibly unlikely to get close to him, but the fact he is able to share a ring with Mayweather shows just how far Paul has come. If you would have said on New Year’s Day 2018, the day after that infamous vlog was uploaded, that three years later he would be fighting Mayweather in a 65,000 capacity stadium, nobody would have believed you.
We’ve seen Paul recover from his absolute lowest moment, so win or lose, this weekend will be the greatest achievement of his career.