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YouTube stars KSI and Logan Paul [Rematch]

Hard to believe, but true: Matchroom and DAZN bring the second meeting of Internet personalities KSI and Logan Paul on the big stage.  On November 9, the Staples Center in Los Angeles will box under professional conditions.

Ingenious marketing coup or pure circus?

Already over the weekend, the rumor haunted that promoter Eddie Hearn would make common cause with YouTube stars KSI and Logan Paul.  Nobody wanted to take this seriously, as Matchroom Boxing had just delivered a strong, serious event in which pound-for-pound superstar Vasyl Lomachenko played the main battle.  But now it has been confirmed that this unholy alliance will actually come.  And not only that: the two will apply for a professional license for their fight and deny under appropriate conditions their duel.

But who are KSI and Logan Paul?  They are what in this country represent "Bibis Beauty Palace" or "Gronkh", creators who use their videos to reach millions of mainly young audiences.  KSI (bourgeois: Olajide William Olatunji) and Paul can each claim about 20 million subscribers.  Through rap videos, comedy segments or other entertainment content, the two twenties rallied millions within a few years.

In early 2018 KSI then went into boxing and met his YouTube colleagues Joe Weller, with whom he had previously gezaffft for months on the Internet and beat this prematurely.  So far so good.  The event attracted a lot of attention and was able to sell out the approximately 7,500-seat Copper Box Arena in London.  In addition, the fight watched around 1.6 million viewers in the livestream.  Although boxing matches between (more or less) celebrities was not a new invention, in combination with YouTube, none of them had done so before.

So this idea had to be spun further.  The British KSI now took the American Paul to the chest, which generated even more attention with its Internet celebrities.  For this one went in August last year in the Manchester Arena (21,000 places) and could also fill these up to the last seat.  The event was offered as a YouTube PPV and allegedly sold over a million times.  Incredible $ 150 million is said to have generated the event overall, as The Sun reported in England.  The fight, which took place under so-called white-collar-rules, so with head protection and a 16 oz.  Gloves, ended in a draw.

Billy Joe Saunders and Devin Haney on the undercard?

A good hanger, so to put a probably more lucrative rematch on the legs.  Now, however, is boxed under professional conditions, the headguard comes away and the gloves are accordingly less padded.  The card on the 9th of November in the Staples Center should be filled up with lots of "real" boxers.  First rumors suggest that Billy Joe Saunders will defend his super middleweight title there and that Devin Haney will also be involved as long as he passes his eliminator against Zaur Abdullaev.

The strategy of Eddie Hearn and DAZN seems clear: they want to win as many new subscribers to the streaming platform as possible, and hope that the "Generation YouTube" can be inspired for their traditional boxing product.  The only question is whether they do not mess with the die-hard boxing fans.  The reactions of this audience were so far mainly negative.