With the rise in social media stars taking to the ring, some boxing fans claim they have ruined the sport. Sport Editor Jasmine Trapnell investigates the details behind this boxing trend.

Popular YouTube stars like KSI and Jake Paul have pushed their way into the boxing world – with multiple ‘YouTuber boxers’ now becoming professionals. Even boxing legend Floyd Mayweather Jr was pulled into this phenomenon, fighting Logan Paul in an exhibition match in June 2021. Many celebrities are now taking part, with fighters from all aspects of media such as TikTok and even Love Island participating.

But some boxing fans are not supportive of the influx of influencer boxing matches, calling it “corny” and “washed out.” Some claiming that “actual rivalries are no longer a thing” as many fighters will fake a feud to promote their fight.

However, you cannot ignore the fact that more young people are watching boxing and paying to attend these fights. Eddie Hearn leaked in an interview with GQ that ‘KSI vs Logan Paul 2’ did 2 million PPV (pay-per-view) buys – the fifth highest in history. This was on top of the 12,000 people watching live in the stadium, which included names such as: Justin Bieber, Mike Tyson, and the YouTube group The Sidemen.

The full KSI vs Logan Paul 2 fight

The ‘Youtuber Boxing’ craze was (arguably) started by KSI vs Joe Weller, two British YouTubers, at the Copper Box Arena in February 2018. This was KSI’s first fight and first win – little did he know at the time what was to follow.

Influencers have only driven the support for boxing, and whilst some fights are not up to the standard they might want, the number of boxing fans has increased exponentially over the last 4 years. Consequently, the profile of boxing has and will continue to increase further.

But how far will it go? With rumours of one of the best professional YouTube boxers Jake Paul fighting four times world champion kickboxer and controversial figure, Andrew Tate, is ‘YouTube boxing’ now just boxing?

Edited by: Izzie Naish (Head of Label) and Jasmine Trapnell (Sport Editor)

Designed by: Sarim Mangi (Head of Design)


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