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Friday, 15 January 2021

How controversial YouTubers rake millions from pro boxing

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How controversial YouTubers rake millions from pro boxing
How controversial YouTubers rake millions from pro boxing

Logan Paul and KSI are social media celebrities best known for vulgar pranks, a flood of negative headlines, and millions of young fans.

But a grudge boxing match between the two is pulling in more viewers than most professional athletes can dream of, and the industry is watching closely.

Matthew Larotonda reports.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) LOGAN PAUL AND KSI, SOCIAL MEDIA CELEBRITIES, SAYING: "PAUL: You tell me what seven times eight is." KSI: "I can't do it man." PAUL: "It's 56.

You're a fucking dumbass." Yes, these are two of the most controversial people in social media.

Logan Paul, best known for streams of vulgar pranks.

KSI, a British rapper and videogamer.

Both are indifferent to social norms, have millions of kids following them, and a flood of negative headlines.

So you might be surprised to learn that a professional boxing match between the YouTubers is set to bring the kind of viewership and Pay-Per-View money that most pro athletes can only dream of.

And the industry is watching.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) LOGAN PAUL, SOCIAL MEDIA CELEBRITY, SAYING: "You strike me as a dumb person." David Haye, former world heavyweight champion: (SOUNDBITE) (English) DAVID HAYE, FORMER WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT BOXING CHAMPION, SAYING: REPORTER ASKING: "Some of these other boxers have been boxing for 5, 10, 15 years and trying to make their way in and now these guys come in with a few months of training and all of a sudden they skip right to the top, is that right?" HAYE: "They've not skipped to the top, they've set a venue, the Staples Center, they put tickets on sale, they sell out like that.

If there's another boxer who's had 15 years experience, let him try and headline Staples Center.

You've got Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury for the heavyweight championship of the world, they didn't sellout tickets like KSI did.

So should they limit the amount of people that's allowed to watch them?

This is a business, boxing's a business, and these are businessmen, and they believe there's a big enough want to see them perform as boxers so I say let them do it, you know, if there's someone else who believes they should have their billing, let them book the stadium, let them be the headliner and see how many people tune in or turn up, I guarantee it won't be the same number though." The two supposedly hate each other and Saturday's (November 9) fight is a rematch.

The first time they fought in June to a draw.

We say "supposedly hate each other" because in the world of internet trolling what's an act and what is genuine is never clear.

KSI has reportedly said that he used to like Paul, but it was Paul's most notorious video -- a gag where he filmed himself next to the body of a suicide victim in Japan -- that turned KSI against him.

Several advertising firms including Google canceled their partnerships with Paul in the aftermath.

Regardless, the rematch is expected to pull in millions of dollars.