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They are calling it a dark day for boxing. Make no mistake about it though: when KSI and Logan Paul fight for the second time, this time professionally on DAZN, it will be more than just that. It will be a moment, one that may very well benefit the boxing community.
Let’s start things off by saying that there is nothing wrong with exposure. The boxing world has needed something like that for the longest time. When was the last time anything other than a fight caught your attention in boxing? A death? A suspension? As “embarrassing” as two YouTube stars attempting to fight may be, it is better than the alternatives.
If there is anyone who knows something about the numbers, it is Eddie Hearn. Matchroom Boxing’s fearless leader, Hearn is not shy when it comes to taking advantage of moments. He himself dismissed the first amateur bout between KSI and Logan Paul. However, once he saw over 800,000 people reportedly paid $10 each to watch the event on YouTube, as we as the 20,000 who were in attendance, he couldn’t resist.
In fact, besides DAZN, which has a subscription price of $9.99, the fight will air on FITE.
“I am delighted to be teaming up with FITE ahead for the KSI–Logan Paul II,” Hearn stated in a press release. “These guys are global stars on YouTube and it’s fantastic to have FITE expertly deliver their hotly-anticipated rematch – this time as pro fighters – to all corners of the globe, allowing legions of fans around the world to watch them settle the score – and introducing some of Matchroom Boxing USA’s World champions and up and coming talents fighting in LA to a host of new audiences.”
He is not lying when he says legions of fans will be brought in, as the circus show has brought in a traveling audience. The press conferences between the two have reached a record number of viewers. Over six MILLION fans watched the first press conference of the rematch between the two, one that included brutal insults and Shannon Briggs.
Now, why should legitimate boxing fans be interested in this fight? That is easy, as Hearn has stacked the card with legitimate fighters like Billy Joe Saunders, Devin Haney and Nikita Ababiy. Fights that generally don’t get seen by the public (boxing fans don’t show up on time to anything), will already have an audience. Compare it to Floyd Mayweather v. Conor McGregor when young fighters under the Mayweather brand got a lot of eyes on them.
The above photo to start the article may not help, but that is not the point. Hearn is taking a gamble he believes will pay off. Tonight, millions will subscribe to an app to watch something entertaining. That, my friends, is how today’s fight game is managed, and it works.