Editor's letter | Issue | Premium | Nov 12 2019

KSI and Logan Paul did not belong anywhere near a professional boxing show

Editor Matt Christie has admiration for KSI and Logan Paul and sees the commercial value in their 'fight', but says it should not be confused with boxing
Boxing: KSI vs Logan Paul 2 Press Conference  |  Melina Pizano/Matchroom Boxing USA

I DIDN’T watch it live, but I watched it. I even paid for it. The KSI-Logan Paul contest was pretty much as I expected; two novices windmilling with the odd punch landing on target. It didn’t offend me. I must admit the commentary from a selection of excitable YouTubers grated, but then I was not the target audience; I understood that, and Sky Sports understood that.

I felt some admiration for the efforts of KSI and Logan Paul. Anyone with even minimal experience in boxing will know how hard it is for newcomers to spar for three minutes let alone try and fight for 18. The high purses were something of an insult to boxers who have spent their lives plying their trade, but the two debutants – exhibiting what a fanbase of millions can provide – had clearly put the hours in. In a perverse compliment to the real sport, this fight highlighted how exceptionally difficult it is to achieve even minimal competency in boxing, let alone become good at it.

However, if anyone tries to tell me that their fight seduced a new generation of boxing fans, I’d argue against them. In the same way that watching two YouTubers rant and rave and then attempt to box won’t make a boxing fan subscribe to either of their YouTube channels, YouTube fans watching them attempt to box are unlikely to seek out boxing, real boxing, as a means of entertainment in the future.

 

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