Fans and boxers alike have expressed their disgust at the fact two online streamers can turn professional with YouTube Boxing at the blink of an eye with no previous experience and barely any skill, to begin with.
Many have taken to social media to declare those YouTubers disrespectful of the sport for asking a major promoter to take their event’s reigns.
Capitalizing on their many followers, who are merely on board to watch their videos, is a blatant disregard to bonafide boxing fans’ feelings.
Asking a commission to license them seems an utterly ridiculous scenario. But the fact that Eddie Hearn has agreed to stage the rematch alongside DAZN is the reason California State Athletic chiefs will even consider their application.
Speaking at the announcement, Hearn attempted to justify bringing the fight across the now muddied borders of celebrity events.
The Matchroom boss admitted it was his idea for KSI and Paul to become ‘professionals.’
“When I was asked to be involved in the rematch, it got me excited. But I had some requests to help integrate the two audiences. I requested that both fighters turn professional. That they undergo the same medicals that any other fighter would.
“I asked that the fighters lose the headguards. And use 10oz gloves. If we are going to do this, then let’s do it properly.
“Both men obliged. Now they prepare for war on November 9. This event will be huge. It will have a World championship card beneath an event that will create hype for boxing not seen in the US for a long time.”
Hearn stating these actors are ‘doing it properly’ seems to sum up what will go down in November. A showcase for the exploitation of young internet followers who don’t know any better.
Many of those such subscribers wouldn’t tell any of the rules of engagement held in the sport. The vast majority of them will bring nothing to the pugilistic table.
Once the fight is over, a tiny minority may purchase another flight ticket in their lives, which is no justification for giving them this platform.
Joseph Markowski, DAZN EVP for North America, seems equally as chuffed as Hearn, though.
“DAZN is excited to team up with (the YouTubers) and Matchroom Boxing on such a unique event.
“Both men have enormous fan bases, and we look forward to bringing best-in-class production and programming to this new group of potential DAZN subscribers around the world.”
A quick Twitter search of loyal fan bases within boxing tells you all you need to know about the fans. Their feelings towards the bout.
If this charade is a success, which no doubt it will be, how long before other YouTubers begin to think they too can enter boxing and stage their event?
It all sets a dangerous precedent. It could be detrimental to the real fighters—those who lay their lives on the line each fight.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News and an Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay