Hearn Sees Opportunity In KSI-Paul “One Off”
Following what could be considered one of the most successful runs a promoter has had in quite some time, Eddie Hearn takes a big risk on November 9th, as he puts on a fight between two YouTube celebrities, KSI and Logan Paul.
“The Logan Paul versus KSI fight is a one-off. I’m not looking to do celebrity matches,” Hearn told BoxingScene.com. “Since we’ve announced this fight, I can’t begin to tell you how many singers, football players and YouTubers have gotten in touch wanting to get on this card. From a charity perspective, that’s fine. We made this a professional fight because I wanted to make sure they both understood the code of the sport.”
Hearn, who runs Matchroom Boxing, signed the two internet stars for a professional fight following a successful amateur bout last year inside the Manchester Arena, which saw 1.2 million buy the card on YouTube Pay-Per-View.
“The first fight was a decent one so I had to look closer at this,” said Hearn. “I’m interested to see if they can expand the sport and capture a new audience. People say that whoever jumps on board will not stay. Well, that’s our job to make them stay.
“We need to showcase ourselves to the Gen Z audience. It’s very difficult to attract them via contemporaries methods. These fighters will be bringing built-in audiences and expose them to the elite fighters like Devin Haney and Billy Joe Saunders, who will also be on the show. You can’t not watch Devin Haney without going, ‘wow! He’s amazing! We’re going to follow him.’ His fan base will grow and more fans will come into the sport as a result.”
“They don’t see this as a one-off event,” said Joe Markowski, DAZN’s executive vice president of North America of Paul and KSI. “They want to be a part of a broader movement in the YouTube community, transferring their audiences into boxing. We can build out a new set of fans. That can only be a good thing for us, and for the sport.”
“We want to introduce Canelo to the audience Logan Paul has,” said Markowski. “Canelo understands it. He knows that. To a certain extent, real boxing does not automatically reach a 10-year-old kid.”
Report: Boxing Scene