The Crazy World of Celebrity Boxing
The widely publicised match between Logan Paul and KSI in late 2019 started a new era for celebrity boxing where YouTubers and influencers, without any former fighting experiences, go head to head in the ring, pulling punches and breaking noses to settle their feuds.
The competitors range from TikTokers, YouTubers to professional basketballers, MMA fighters, comedians, and everyone in between. Last June, Logan Paul took on legendary boxer Floyd Mayweather in Florida, in a record-breaking exhibition bout and was astonishingly able to last eight rounds without getting knocked out. The YouTuber is now setting his sights even higher, with news circulating of a potential brawl with "Iron Mike" Mike Tyson.
So, are media personalities breaking down each other a thing now? Should you care?
Professionals in the boxing arena and hardcore fans will say that these matches are hurting the image of this sport and aren't nearly as entertaining. Some might think throwing punches is instinctive, and everyone can do it, however, there is more to it. The fame and follower counts of these influencers don't magically transform into elite fighting capabilities in the ring, and a lot of these matches end up as a disappointment for the viewers, not offering everything they promise leading up to the fights.
What Logan Paul vs Mayweather promised was nowhere to be seen, with viewers complaining it was tedious and not entertaining enough. In many ways, most of the amusement couldn't find its way into the ring. The hype on the internet leading up to the fight, Logan Paul sporting a Pokémon card chain worth 150,000 dollars or Mayweather teasing his OnlyFans debut, the boomer digs aimed at the Paul brothers, and the memes – these were way more entertaining than the actual fight.
Nevertheless, seeing your favourite YouTuber and influencers in the ring is quite a spectacle and might be an enjoyable experience for the Logangs and KSI armies of the world and might even pull them towards the sport in the long run and expand the boxing fan base.
However, amateurs getting the opportunities to participate in such colossal fights might come off as a bummer for real professionals, who train from a young age and go through hundreds of matches before finally stepping into the big ring. Although the financial side may help promoters overlook these problems, too much dependence on these matches might actually hurt the sport. The hype and the excitement built up around these fights on social media cannot turn these matches into the elite brawls that some viewers might expect.
Despite the outcomes, it's noteworthy that the competitors do go through countless hours of training and hard work before the fight. The fact that Logan Paul survived eight rounds without getting knocked out is remarkable on his part. His young brother Jake Paul releasing his primal rage against former MMA fighters and winning was also as impressive. These results might have also encouraged the former Vine influencers to join the professional scene, as Jake Paul so graciously said, "GOTCHA CAREER!"