The social influencers are going Stateside. After YouTubers KSI and Logan Paul sold out the Manchester Arena for their first fight in 2018, the two superstars are now going head-to-head once more, this time in America.
The two online celebrities, who boast over 40 million subscribers combined will meet on the 9th November at Staples Center, in a venue that has hosted some of the most iconic moments in sport - the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
After the majority draw in their first fight attracted a pay-per-view audience of over one million, it is expected that this fight could break all records, given the following and hype around the rematch.
The fight will be streamed on DAZN and promoted by Eddie Hearn as the fighters have turned professional having passed medicals. This means unlike the first fight, there will be no head protection and they will wear 10oz gloves, with the undercard also likely to feature star names.
The two fighters have already been speaking ahead of the rematch, picking up where they left off last time around.
KSI told Matchroom Boxing: “Finally, after over a year since our rematch, I get to enter the ring once again to fight Logan Paul. If I’m being honest, I didn’t fight well at all in the first fight, and even then, I still managed to draw against him,"
“This time I won’t make it so close, especially now that it’s a pro fight, no head guards and 10oz gloves hahahaha, the time to end him is nearing. I can’t wait to see the memes of him slumped on the ground after I’ve repeatedly beaten the life out of him. He’s facing a different animal this time. He will soon realize."
Logan Paul responded with some fighting talk of his own:
“Last fight, KSI couldn’t beat me with only three months of training under my belt. For the past year, while JJ has been wasting his time trying to become a rapper, I’ve been training every single day. I’m finally getting what I wanted from the beginning – no headgear, 10oz gloves, and the opportunity to dismantle JJ’s repugnant face in Los Angeles, my home city.
Unbeaten British two-weight World Champion Billy Joe Saunders is reported to be fighting on the undercard as he defends his WBO super-middleweight title, which may seem insulting to the 28-0 boxer, however, the audience that KSI and Logan Paul bring in could well make this the most viewed fight of his career.
But what does this bout mean for the sport of boxing as a whole?
For the traditionalists, it could be seen as an insult to their sport that two YouTubers with limited boxing experience are able to be paid so much to fight and draw such a large audience.
The ‘elite’ boxers like Saunders on the undercard are clearly far more talented in the ring than these two, but at the end of the day, this sport is all about hype, money and viewer interest, something that these two can generate in abundance.
Another positive for the sport is that although it may not be the conventional route, this is a brilliant way to attract a whole new audience to the sport of boxing. Teenagers, who may not have seen the sport before are now taking a whole new interest and this could inspire them to try it out for themselves.
For Hearn, it is clear that this is all about the money. After branding the first fight ‘embarrassing’ he has pulled a complete u-turn as he begins to hype up:
“What I saw was a phenomenon; a sold-out arena, over one million PPV buys but more importantly an energy of a new audience to the sport of boxing."
For boxing fans, the big-name world title fans will never be lost but this is an intriguing bout that is sure to generate a lot of interest. This rematch, like the first fight, is likely to be sneered upon by the general public but it will be a huge success and a big talking point in the world of sport.
If it gets more people into boxing, that can only be a good thing for the sport.