Whether you like it or not, YouTuber’s are taking the boxing scene by storm.
On June 6, a YouTuber with 23 million subscribers and zero professional or amateur boxing victories, fights the greatest fighter in combat history with an 50-0 undefeated record. All in the name of money.
When the two fight, they will do so knowing that they will go into uncharted territory in the new phenomena of YouTube boxing.
Last month, Logan Paul’s brother Jake carried on his ascendancy into professional boxing by scoring a TKO victory over former mixed-martial-arts champion Ben Askren.
https://www.instagram.com/p/CODXi9QLN4p/ (Picture of Paul KO’ing Askren)
The question is, do people want to see it?
That question is a resounding yes. Jake Paul announced that pay-per-views buys for the event reached 1.5 million. Anthony Joshua’s last defence of his Heavyweight titles struggled to reach 700,000 pay-per-view buys in comparison.
There is money to be made.
Ben Askren reportedly made $500,000 for the boxing fight. In his biggest mixed-martial-arts fight, Askren made only $210,000, and for that, I say that these exhibition fights are good. If a retired fighter can make the biggest payday of his career fighting a YouTuber, then the income of mixed-martial-artists is crooked.
Yet, it cannot be denied that YouTuber’s performing in exhibition fights for serious amounts of money makes a mockery to the boxers who have put their whole life into the sport, for nothing in contrast to these super-fights.
Maybe that shows that people do not care about technical boxing anymore, the respect for boxing as a craft is history. People watch boxing now to see personalities, not because of the skills these athletes possess.
The week after Logan Paul fights Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather, LiveXLive will put on an event called YouTube vs. TikTok in the same venue. The main event features fighters with nearly 20 million social network followers and the reality is, the greatest boxer of this generation will be compared to young influencers who have never boxed before.
Why do people want to watch these fights?
Take Logan Paul vs KSI, the YouTuber boxing event that catapulted the scene into stardom. There were two sides of the story, you either was a fan of Logan Paul and wanted to watch him fight, or you wanted to see him get knocked out.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBbMhQi_vMk (Highlights of KSI vs Logan Paul)
Pre-fight Logan Paul was at the centre of controversy having recently uploaded a video in Japan’s famous ‘suicide forest’, where he filmed a deceased person who hung himself on a tree. Consequently, people wanted to see him face repercussions any way they could.
People were interested to see Jake Paul, because they wanted to see Jake Paul get knocked out. Paul has been controversial throughout his career, and people tune in every time in the hope he gets knocked unconscious. I know I do.
This is the benefit for internet personalities, they either have a large following who want to see them win, or a larger following who wants to see them lose. Either way, they make their money.