|KSI v Logan Paul II|
|Venue: Staples Center, Los Angeles Date: Saturday, 9 November (Sunday, 10 November UK time) BBC protection: Live radio commentary on BBC Sounds and live text commentary on the BBC Sport website and app.|
The majority of professional fighters will start their professions in front of a handful of individuals at obscure leisure centres. KSI and Logan Paul are not most professional boxers.
On Saturday night, the YouTubers – combined following 40 million – will battle in front of an anticipated sell-out crowd of 21,000 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, U.S.A.. Millions more will watch on pay-per view television.
It is not the very first time they have actually battled – their very first contest, at Manchester Arena in August 2018, ended in a draw.
Promoter Eddie Hearn is amongst those who think the rematch is a huge opportunity for the sport of boxing, though others are less persuaded.
Here Hearn, pundit Steve Bunce and fighter-turned-trainer Jamie Moore answer the concern: what does KSI v Logan Paul II mean for boxing?
A new audience, a new opportunity
It was reported Britain’s KSI, 26, could have made more than ₤80 m from his first battle with American Paul. Along with the 15,000 fans ringside, more than a million seen on YouTube.
In contrast, British heavyweight Tyson Fury signed a five-fight deal reportedly worth the very same figure earlier this year.
KSI and Paul have actually turned expert for this bout, which is being promoted by Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing.
Hearn, who promotes the likes of British previous world champ Anthony Joshua, stated he simply “couldn’t overlook” the success of the first fight.
” I viewed it and believed I need to be included with it,” he said. “The YouTube world is an exceptional way of people absorbing content and it amazes me.
” There will be a substantial, new audience worldwide and it’s our job to ensure they take an interest in boxing – then they purchase tickets and watch other fighters.”
BBC boxing expert Steve Bunce had appointments about the fight at first, but now sees the chance for the sport.
” If 10%of their fans view the battle, that’s four million brand-new sets of eyes on the sport,” he stated. “Even if we took simply 1%, that’s still an enormous number.”
‘ They’re better than hundreds of other debutants’
KSI and Paul are taking this fight seriously. Both have routinely published training videos to social media to show the progress they have actually made.
Turning professional methods they will box without head guards, with smaller 10 oz gloves – which include less cushioning than those utilized in amateur contests – and over six three-minute rounds.
And Bunce has been impressed with what he has actually seen up until now.
” They have trained for 2 months and stopped everything else they do to eliminate each other,” he said.
” They have actually altered their shape, their lifestyle and they’re committed.
” I have actually had serious arguments with individuals in this company since I have actually explained there are fighters who have actually had launchings and are absolutely hopeless – and these two, I think, are better than numerous those.”
What can boxers learn from KSI and Paul?
Londoner KSI initially rose to popularity when he submitted a clip of a goal he scored on video game Fifa. Paul, on the other hand, came to prominence on social media platform Vine.
Bunce believes there is a lot fighters can gain from social media stars about the art of self-promotion.
” If I was a promoter, I ‘d get my fighters to take a look at how these men and ladies are doing it on YouTube or Facebook,” he stated.
” If you believe boxing shouldn’t be affected by the online community, are you living in 1979? We remain in2019 Get with it.”
They’re ‘not just here for a pay cheque’
Both KSI – whose genuine name is Olajide William ‘JJ’ Olatunji – and Paul have actually been criticised for their often bizarre outbursts and trash-talking in the build-up to the battle.
Those who went to the London and Los Angeles press conference heard jokes about dead pet dogs, and recommendations to World War 2 and Sir Winston Churchill.
Hearn admits their behaviour has actually been “a little bit cringey” sometimes, however says the method they conduct themselves is the factor they have such a huge following.
And the criticism does not seem to bother either fighter.
” I’m going to use boxing IQ and show everybody that I have actually put in the work and I’m not here for a pay cheque,” KSI informed the Mayweather Channel.
Paul, on the other hand, informed BBC Newsbeat boxing is “without a doubt among the finest things to happen” in his life.
So why are some boxing traditionalists versus it?
Hearn – who states he has no strategies to stage celeb fights in the future – acknowledges “hardcore” boxing fans may not more than happy with his involvement in this battle.
” I do appreciate what they learn about boxing, but I can’t take advice from them on something like this,” he said.
Moore, on the other hand, is pleased both fighters will make “loads of money” however believes it should not be thought about an expert bout.
” It’s not actually boxing – it’s two young males who have a little bit of a problem with each other and are utilizing boxing to sort their beef out,” stated the former British champion.
Moore, who now trains previous world champ Carl Frampton, acknowledges the work both men have actually put in, but says it is simpler to train for a one-off fight than try to forge a career in boxing.
” It’s a brief window of time where they need to put their bodies through hell – however they know the end of goal is that they will definitely be earning a great deal of cash,” he stated.
” Young professional fighters have no idea what the end objective is.”
Should it be the heading?
Some criticism of the fight has centred on the fact it will heading a bill also including British undefeated WBO super-middleweight world champ Billy Joe Saunders and American WBC light-weight champion Devin Haney.
Moore feels an established fighter must be headlining an event of this magnitude.
” As a world champion, Billy ought to absolutely be topping the expense,” he stated.
However others argue this is a smart move by Matchroom and will give much-needed direct exposure to Saunders, who does not have a big profile in the United States.
” I’m far from insulted,” Saunders told IFL TV “If I can nick possibly 5,000 brand-new fans then economically it’s a respectable bill to be on.”