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Whether purists like it or not, the influence of YouTubers in professional boxing is growing. The likes of KSI and Jake Paul are attracting worldwide exposure, but what’s more, are backing up their social media boasts with in-ring performances. But whilst ‘The Problem Child’ is gearing up to his next PPV clash against Tommy Fury in Saudi Arabia next month – let’s not pretend that YouTube boxing hasn’t been laced with some farcical finishes too.
AnEsonGib v MaxPlays – In February 2018, Gib fought his fellow FIFA YouTuber MaxPlays in a white-collar amateur bout on the undercard of the KSI vs Joe Weller event. It’s just as well the pair weren’t headlining at the Copper Box Arena in London, putting on a contest which, putting it kind, was ‘laboured’. In round two, AnEsonGib connected with two left hooks to send MaxPlays tumbling down like a falling tree – and that was that.
Jake Paul v AnEsonGib – Gib soon went pro, his first bout against another debutant in Jake Paul. Any credibility gained from the MaxPlays win soon evaporated though, with Paul notching the easiest of first round KO wins. Fair to say ‘The Problem Child’ has built in stature since.
Jake Paul v Nate Robinson – In November 2020, and Paul was back at it again, this time against a professional basketball player. The bout took place on the undercard of the Mike Tyson v Roy Jones Jnr exhibition, but didn’t consume much of the television time. Paul won a meek contest at 1:24 in the second round
Floyd Mayweather Jr. v Mikuru Asakura – In Sepember last year, Mayweather took on the YouTuber in his native Japan. He toyed with his opponent until he second round, before deciding it was time to pick up his cheque and ‘The Money Man’ finished matters.
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Floyd Mayweather v Deji – It’s that man Mayweather again, who last September took on YouTuber Deji Olatunji, the younger brother of KSI. By the time the bout begun, farce had long reigned given the previous in-ring showdown between Jake Paul and a topless John Fury. At least Mayweather had the good grace to string the main event out a bit, flooring Deji in the sixth.
Deen the Great v Walid Sharks – The names say it all. And so did the quality in this crossover boxing match which pitted an American YouTuber (Deen) against an Iraqi TikToker. A dire few minutes followed, before Deen laboured to a TKO win in the third.
KSI v Faze Temperrr – The fight at Wembley Arena sold 300,000 PPV buys. Poor 30,000 people. KSI added another win to his record, but Temperrr hardly raised a glove, with the bout all over by the time the bell for the end of the first could ring.
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Ed Matthews v Simple Simon – Ed Matthews v Simple Simon was a YouTube PPV last July. And subscribers were treated to precisely 48 seconds of action. It was Simple Simon left on the canvas, with many fans probably wishing he’d stay there.
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