I was hoping that I’d be done talking about this kind of thing. I made the post many moons ago before the pandemic and masks were a thing and the words “social distancing” didn’t exist (god those were the days) about the big YouTube fellas, KSI and Logan Paul, fighting each other at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles and assumed that it would be the end of it all. They’d get their bit of time in the spotlight on Sky Sports Box Office, along with a handsome pay day and YouTube boxing would ride off peacefully into the sunset with somewhat of a reputation in tact. In reality, couldn’t be further from the truth. What came next was Logan’s younger and somehow more obnoxious brother, Jake, deciding he wanted a go.* Jake then took on some of the most prestigious names in the sport in the form of fellow YouTuber AnesonGib, ex-NBA basketball star Nate Robinson, and retired MMA fighter Ben Askren. Huge names on the record which should surely set up a mega-fight with somebody like a bouncer from any Wetherspoons in South Wales, or Coronation Street’s Roy Cropper, but instead opting for another retired MMA fighter in the form of Tyron Woodley. All the while, Logan went a bit quiet after his sole loss before setting up an exhibition match with (and I wish I was joking) undefeated former five weight world champion Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather. Eight three-minute rounds with no official winner, there will be no judges scoring, it won’t go to a decision, knockouts and stoppages are allowed and the referee can stop the fight at any time. It’s essentially a sparring session without headguards, fun.
*Kinda harsh from me here, Logan actually isn’t that bad a bloke. He’s been on a bit of a road to redemption in the last few years and comes across like a nice guy. He used his social media platforms well during the Black Lives Matter protests in the summer of 2020 and has challenged toxic masculinity on his podcast before. Seems like the type of guy you’d like to have a beer with.
The fight was originally supposed to happen in early 2021 but has since been rearranged for the 6th of June at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami. The fight will be shown live on Sky Sports Box Office with an undercard that’s interesting to say the least. Sweden’s Badou Jack was supposed to rematch Jean Pascal for the WBA light-heavyweight title however that fight is off due to Pascal failing a drug test. Instead, Jack faces undefeated Venezuelan star Dervin Colina instead. The card also sees former unified light-middleweight champion Jarret Hurd take on Luis Arias, and former Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver and NFL legend Chad Johnson making his debut in an exhibition bout. There’s some big names and tasty fights on the undercard but it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, the KSI-Logan undercard featured the likes of Devin Haney and Billy Joe Saunders.
People can laugh and joke (and have, quite a lot) but this seriously needs to be talked about. Despite what I’ve written I’m not necessarily against the YouTube boxing scene. Sure it’s a bit gimmicky and sometimes a bit cringey but it’s a bit of fun for some internet peeps who have wanted to do this kind of thing and it brings more eyes to the sport. When it goes this far is when serious red flags are raised and alarm bells start to ring for me. This isn’t somebody with a few years training fighting another internet star, athlete from another sport or even a journeyman (which I still wouldn’t be 100% comfortable with), this is going against a pound for pound king and one of the greatest fighters of this generation. Even though Floyd didn’t have a reputation as the biggest knockout artist by the end of his career, this could end in a really nasty way. Look at the McGregor fight and how beat up Conor got, or even the exhibition Floyd had with Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa. Both were unbelievably one sided even though they had backgrounds in combat sport.
I’m not a fan of this at all, and I’m pretty worried Logan could end up badly hurt. As grim as it sounds, and I’m praying he doesn’t, it’s a very real possibility. If the whole YouTube fighting thing carries on, put them against each other or other celebrities. It’s all well and good seeing Logan fight Mayweather or Jake Paul call out Tommy Fury and Conor McGregor but it’s only a matter of time before somebody gets seriously injured and all of a sudden boxing is the bad guy again for letting it happen. Jake saying how he’s an elite level fighter after fighting three nobodies in the world of boxing is not only wrong but again, downright dangerous. It’s led to him to be called out by the IBF and Ring Cruiserweight champion Mairis Briedis, which I doubt he would turn down because he believes his own hype so much (good luck finding a governing body on the planet that would be happy to sanction that fight) and he’d end up badly hurt, same way he would if he ended up fighting McGregor or Tommy Fury. The furthest I’d be begrudgingly happy to see it go would be a fight with somebody like Sonny Bill Williams or Paul Gallen, former sportsmen who have some background in boxing. But even still I’d probably have to watch from behind the sofa for a Sonny Bill Williams – Jake Paul fight.
My main hope for all this is that it’s the beginning of the end. YouTube stars boxing can do what they want so long as it doesn’t get stupider than this. Calling out ex and current professionals is not a path I want to see this go down and in the long run it’s just going to end in tears. Hopefully the Logan Paul-Floyd Mayweather fight is decent enough for the fans in attendance sake (and the nutcases over the world who stay up for it), ends fairly quickly and nobody gets seriously hurt. Then for the love of god and all that’s holy can this nonsense about fighting actual boxers or MMA fighters who can actually punch PLEASE stop before one of them (I’m looking at you Jake Paul) takes an unwinnable fight against a professional at the top of their game because that will not be pretty. Do I like the idea of Jake Paul fighting nobodies and parading himself around like he’s the best thing since sliced bread? No, it’s annoying. But I like the idea of him fighting somebody like Conor McGregor, Tommy Fury, Mairis Briedis, or Kamaru Usman a hell of a lot less.
My personal prediction for the fight is Floyd starts off jabbing and testing the water like he did against McGregor, Logan goes in swinging like a mad man in the hope of landing something before Floyd sees red and throws a mental combo which comes out of nowhere and the fight gets stopped. All within the first two minutes as well, I really don’t see this going more than one round. But hey, what do I know.