Since being announced as having Eddie Hearn, Matchroom Boxing, and DAZN involved, there seems to be some alarming and distinct alteration of some views on the YouTube Boxing rematch.
People who previously panned the pair of boxing no-hopers sharing the ring, are now firmly on board and bigging up the second bout.
It seems a strange turn of events.
Assurances the contest is ‘good for boxing’ and ‘will bring new fans’ to the sport are being flaunted in a clear attempt to justify the bout being promoted alongside real match-ups.
‘I have no problem with it’ seems to have become the order of the day.
The truth is, no matter how you paint the picture, the ‘fight’ is all about money. The effective ‘white-collar’ clash will bring absolutely nothing to the sport we love.
Neither can actually box to a decent standard, which means pulling strings to make them pro fighters is a big slap in the face to those who do have the skill to compete.
The fact is, the pair are normal guys who have a lot of subscribers and want to exploit that in the biggest way possible. And what better way to do that than to dress up the most glamorous sport there is to line their pockets again?
Earning a tidy sum the first time around due to both having millions of followers, perennial opportunist Hearn saw a gap in the market to make a fast buck.
Already planning a fight for that month, plonking this awful scrap on top seemingly means no odds to the British promoter if it helps with the DAZN numbers.
In a recent interview with WBN, Bob Arum aired his opinion that Hearn was struggling to meet DAZN’s demands on the back of landing a huge deal.
Handing Hearn a ‘desperation’ tag, Arum said: “I think he should be desperate because he’s had all this money from DAZN. He’s accomplished absolutely nothing with it in the United States.
“For example, Canelo Alvarez, who he doesn’t promote and appears on DAZN, has done about two or three times the business for DAZN that Eddie Hearn has done in a dozen fights. So what does that tell ya?”
Hearn’s stipulation both participants turn pro and fight without head guards over six rounds will sadly not be able to hide the fact that the two looked like two under 9’s having their first-ever bout after flailing all over the place the last time they fought.
It’s a terminally sad reflection of the way society has moved into the virtual world of social media over the last ten years. It could open the floodgates for a lot more of YouTubers to try their hand at what can be a fatal or life-altering practice.
In regards to bringing a new audience to boxing, yes the fight will have a lot more eyes on it. But sadly, the vast majority of views will be for one night only.
Most of those who tune in to their respective YouTube channels have no idea who the majority of current boxers are.
They tune in to whatever those presenters post that day – no matter what it is. They are oblivious to the hard work and determination it takes to become a pro fighter.
Not to mention the sacrifice and life-threatening dangers that come with it.
So to have those kinds of fans crossing over is not necessarily a good thing, as some are attempting to make people believe. Once the dust settles on this return, these ‘new fans’ will firmly move on to their next online hit.
As expected, big-name pro boxers are being drafted to dress up the event, which will be a mere celebrity occasion for all intents and purposes.
The likes of Billy Joe Saunders and Devin Haney are fan-friendly and will take no reputational hit from featuring on November 9.
But this is a YouTube fight, and that’s where it belongs. Anything to the contrary is a disguise to overshadow an obvious money grab through the exploitation of millennial fans.
Let’s get it right, they’d pay for anything either vlogger did under the right circumstances.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News and an Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay