Controversial American vlogger Logan Paul has agreed to fight the British YouTube personality KSI in a boxing match.
This is the latest in what is becoming a trend of YouTube stars arranging fights to settle online “beefs” in the boxing ring. KSI, the 24-year-old rapper, comedian and FIFA gaming personality from the UK started the trend when he fought British rapper Joe Weller on February 3.
That match has amassed 20 million views on YouTube, making it the most-watched amateur boxing match of all time.
After defeating Weller, KSI (who is also known as “JJ”) called out the 22-year-old American Paul and his brother, Jake Paul. After several back-and-forth response videos from both parties, Paul officially agreed to fight KSI yesterday. It was also announced that Jake Paul would be fighting KSI’s little brother, Deji.
Paul has also said he was keen for his father Greg Paul do fight KSI’s 58-year-old father Jidi. “That would be crazy, your entire family versus mine,” he said emphatically, while expressing his desire to fight without protective headgear.
KSI has 18 million subscribers while Paul has 16 million. If you include their little brothers, the four vloggers-turned-fighters have a combined 56 million subscribers.
Logan Paul is a polarising figure. His controversial video of Japan’s “suicide forest”, in which he filmed himself making jokes in front of a hanged dead body, was arguably the biggest video headline of 2018 so far. Meanwhile, KSI has been known to make disparaging remarks towards women.
It’s expected that there will be a lot of fans rooting not just for one of the fighters to win, but for the other to lose.
The fight is expected to be one of the most viewed boxing matches of all time as well one of the most viewed YouTube events of all-time. The press-conferences and back-and-forth videos of the YouTube stars trash-talking one another are also expected to generate a lot of publicity.
The event has drawn comparisons to the McGregor vs Mayweather fight due to the Europe vs US element, and the dynamic personalities of the combatants. The match also signifies the mainstream audience's preference to watch fights that are "viral" and generate "hype" as opposed to high-level, professional boxing between real professionals.
How involved YouTube will be with the promotion and payment process remains to be seen.