This Saturday, a rematch between Logan Paul and KSI will feature as the main event of a highly anticipated boxing event at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Although neither fighter has competed as a professional boxer before, Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn foresees the fight capturing the attention of close to six million viewers worldwide.
But Hearn also stresses that it’s a fight that shouldn’t be taken too seriously.
“We mustn’t take it too seriously,” Hearn told Helen Yee in a recent interview.
Logan Paul and KSI are not boxers—they’re internet personalities that have built incredible fanbases over many years.
Olajide “JJ” Olatunji, better known as KSI, has more than 20 million subscribers on YouTube, where his videos have racked up almost five billion views. Similarly, Paul has close to 20 million subscribers on the platform and his videos have been viewed just under five billion times.
So, naturally, when the two competed against each other in an amateur boxing match in August 2018, it turned out to be the largest non-professional boxing match of all-time. The fight streamed on YouTube and generated more than one million pay-per-view buys, a number that Hearn finds especially staggering.
“When I went into this, I looked at the first fight they did, and I was staggered by the numbers,” Hearn said to Helen Yee. “The numbers are so impressive, and they have staggered me.”
“Last time, it did 1.2 million pay-per-view buys. I believe it does double that this time because the difference this time is we have a number of commercial broadcasters backing the event. Last time they did the whole thing on their own, which was remarkable, and it was just on the YouTube platform. So this time we’ve got Sky, we’ve got DAZN, we’ve got Fite TV; we’ve got all these other broadcasters that are publicizing it.”
“It’s the biggest UK pay-per-view of the year so that would mean it would outperform Joshua Ruiz one, which was the World Heavyweight Championship and the biggest star in the sport, in Anthony Joshua. So, it’s outperforming the biggest fights in boxing—I think that’s the best way to describe it and that’s fascinating in itself.”
“In terms of pay-per-view buys it will be well over 2 million, but in terms of a global audience—because on some platforms it’s free-to-air—you’re talking four, five or six million audience,” Hearn said.
Although traditional fans of the sport may feel discouraged by this weekend’s event, Paul and KSI will be bringing their loyal fanbases with them. For many of these viewers, it will be their first time watching professional boxing, and Hearn believes that this represents a golden opportunity for the sport.
“Of course, the hardcore fans they don’t like it, but it’s all about the new audience that’s going to be brought into the sport,” Hearn said.
“We got to maintain the tradition of the sport that’s why I wanted to merge this event with world championship boxing on the undercard with Billy Joe Saunders and Devin Haney.
“So, we’re hoping that this new audience can fall in love with the sport we fell in love with and to do that, on the way they’re going to be watching Devin and Billy, and hopefully, they become fans of them as well.”
How to watch Logan Paul vs. KSI 2
Logan Paul vs. KSI 2 happens this Saturday, November 9, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
The main card commences at 9 p.m. ET and will feature Billy Joe Saunders vs. Marcelo Coceres and Devin Haney vs. Alfredo Santiago, before Logan Paul vs. KSI 2 serves as the main event.
The entire event will be streamed exclusively on DAZN in North America and will not be available on YouTube or traditional pay-per-view.
For fans in the United Kingdom, the fight will air on Sky Sports Box Office. Viewers from Australia, France, and the Netherlands can watch via FITE.
Formerly the lead MMA Editor at RealSport.