What a time to be alive! It looks like the world of boxing will be getting a rematch that many didn’t exactly ask for, as YouTube stars KSI and Logan Paul will meet in a rematch on November 9th at the Staples Center in LA. The fight is to be promoted by Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing and will air exclusively on DAZN it seems.
The social media rivals fought an exhibition in the sold-out Manchester Arena in England in August of last year and over one million people purchased the fight on YouTube. The fight was a majority draw, with KSI gaining one scorecard and the other two judges unable to declare a winner.
Now the headgear comes off and we get to see the two men settle the score.
“Finally, after over a year since our rematch, I get to enter the ring once again to fight Logan Paul,” said KSI. “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 10 oz. gloves.”
Many were surprised by Paul’s effort in the fight, and he aims to make a statement in the rematch.
“I’m excited to ruin JJ’s face and I want to thank DAZN for giving me the platform to do so,” said Paul. “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, 10 oz. gloves, and the opportunity to dismantle JJ’s repugnant face in Los Angeles, my home city.”
The fighters are spirited with their talk, but is this scenario a good or bad thing for boxing? When looking online, at boxing forums and social media platforms, you see many who see the business sense in this fight and others who see it as a side show attraction that takes away from boxing’s integrity.
The fact that such star fighters as Devin Haney and Billy Joe Saunders are rumored to appear on the undercard, to fighters much less their equal, also has many talking.
Hearn gave his take on the situation.
“13 months ago when the first fight took place I smirked and pondered how embarrassing it would be to stage this event in a 20,000-seater arena,” said Hearn. “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 Hearn, it seems to be about driving up subscribers for the DAZN streaming service and also gaining some new boxing fans along the way.
“When I was asked to be involved in the rematch it got me excited but I had some requests to help integrate the two audiences,” said Hearn. “I requested that both fighters turn professional and undergo the same medicals that any other fighter would. I asked that the fighters lose the headguards and use 10 oz. gloves; if we are going to do this then let’s do it properly.”
If anything, expect a lot of pre-fight build up and some more exposure centered on the sport due to the 40 million plus following the two fighters have.