KSI vs. Logan Paul II
|Venue||Staples Center, Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
|Tale of the tape|
|KSI defeated Paul by SD|
(Lou Moret: 56–55, Patrick Russell: 57–54, Zachary Young: 55–56)
KSI vs. Logan Paul II was a boxing match between the British YouTuber Olajide Olatunji (known online as KSI), and American YouTuber Logan Paul. The fight constitued a rematch of the previous white-collar amateur boxing fight between the two, which ended in a majority draw. The bout was held at the Staples Center, Los Angeles on 9 November 2019, and was scheduled for six three minute rounds in the cruiserweight division, with both fighters making their professional boxing debuts. The result was a split decision victory for KSI, with two judges scoring the bout 56–55 and 57–54 in favour of the Briton, and a third judge scoring the fight 56–55 in favour of Paul.
On the undercard, Billy Joe Saunders successfully defended the WBO super middleweight title against Marcelo Coceres, and Devin Haney was also successful in his defence of the WBC lightweight title against Alfredo Santiago. The choice of putting two world-title bouts on the undercard, beneath two YouTubers, was criticised, with some going as far as describing the event as an 'insult' to boxing. However, a number of figures within the sport, including professional boxers, were more receptive to the event and highlighted the professionalism of Paul and KSI – both of whom received coaching from previous world champion coaches and boxers – as well as their intention to bring a new audience to the sport of boxing.
Background and build-up
After the successful first fight against Paul, KSI requested for the second fight to be postponed until May 2019. He said that he would prefer Dubai as a neutral venue, but was open to the fight taking place in America. Citing the difference in time-zones and the potential for the fight to be too late for some UK viewers, KSI also said he would prefer the bout to take place in New York City. On 28 August 2018, it was announced that the fight would take place in May 2019 in an undetermined United States venue, provided neither KSI nor Paul opted out, though a date in May was never agreed. Finally, on 3 September 2019, KSI and Paul announced via Instagram that the fight would take place on 9 November 2019 at the Staples Center, Los Angeles and that it would be a professional bout, with no head guards (unlike the previous two YouTube fights). The announcement also confirmed that the fight would be promoted by Eddie Hearn's Matchroom Boxing.
- 14 September 2019 – Outside the Staples Center, Los Angeles
- 7 October 2019 – The Troxy Theatre, London
- 7 November 2019 – The Hollywood Restaurant Tao, Los Angeles
Paul's main coach for the fight was two-time heavyweight champion, Shannon Briggs, while KSI trained under up-and-coming professional boxer, Viddal Riley, and Jeff Mayweather, uncle of Floyd Mayweather Jr. As a professional event, only fighters with professional boxing licences, and no other YouTubers, were allowed to participate; this decision was met with contention from some in the YouTube community who were hoping to see others participate in what was originally a 'YouTube' event.
Upon its announcement as a professional bout, the event drew criticism from a number of figures within boxing, as well as boxing journalists and fans, some of whom labelled the fight as an 'insult' to boxing. The headline accusation was that the pair were using the event as a 'cash grab' and questioned the 'legitimacy' of the match as a professional bout, and many questioned the choice of putting professional world-title bouts on the undercard beneath two YouTubers. Others within the sport, however, were more receptive to the fight and embraced the event. The executive director of the California State Athletic Commission (the fight's sanctioning body), Andy Foster, defended the accusation that the YouTubers weren't fit to fight professionally, saying in an interview that "If they weren’t YouTube stars, this fight is still approvable in every commission in this country as debut athletes". Kevin Draper of The New York Times notes KSI, Paul and the organisers' intention to bring a new audience to a 'stagnant' sport and highlights the fact both YouTubers sought coaching from world-champion boxers and trainers. Professional boxers Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder, Tyson Fury, Dillian Whyte and Andy Ruiz Jr. also expressed support for the event and the fact it was being held as a professional bout, highlighting the benefit it could bring to boxing in terms of expanding the sport's audience.
The weigh-in took place at 1 pm PST on 8 November at the Xbox Plaza in Los Angeles. Paul stepped on the scales first, weighing in at 199.4lbs, just under the 200lbs cruiserweight limit, while KSI weighed in at 193.4lbs, just over 6lbs lighter, before the pair shared a brief head to head. Paul entered the ring first, sporting a red-white-and-blue robe and shorts and accompanied by his brother, Jake Paul, and musician Justin Bieber; KSI then entered the arena donning a red-and-black robe, shorts and mask, as American rappers Rick Ross and Lil Baby as well as British artist and producer S-X, performed KSI's newly released song, titled Down Like That, on which they feature.
The first three rounds were controlled by KSI, who offloaded more punches and appeared the aggressor, while Paul employed a more cautious approach, throwing more tentative jabs. On the back foot after the first two rounds, Paul slipped to the canvas twice in the third round, before KSI landed an overhand right behind Paul's ear – enough to send Paul to the canvas – but no knockdown was called by the referee. A chaotic fourth round saw Paul land a clean uppercut on KSI, but for the second uppercut which followed Paul had his other arm around the back of KSI's head. The illegal blow was enough to send the Briton falling to the canvas. On KSI's way down, Paul broke KSI's fall and offloaded a further illegal punch to the back of his head, then hit him once more when he reached the canvas. What was originally unanimously scored as a 10–8 round in favour of Paul for scoring a knockdown was negated by a two-point deduction from Paul's card for the illegal back-of-the-head blows. As well as deducting Paul points, the referee allowed KSI time to regain his composure before resuming the fight. The fifth round was a closer contest, with Paul landing the more meaningful jabs while KSI stayed out of any trouble. The sixth and final round matched the frantic pace of the first as both fighters swung wildly in a last attempt to snatch victory, but neither could land a decisive knockout blow.
After six rounds, the fight resulted in a split decision victory for KSI, with two judges scoring the bout 57–54 and 56–55 in favour of KSI, and a third scoring it 56–55 in favour of Paul. Paul and KSI shook hands and shared an embrace after the fight, with both paying respect to one another, though Paul stated his intention to contest the commission for his point deduction for his illegal punches, stating that he does not dispute what happened but thought he deserved only a warning. Paul did indeed appeal the decision, but the appeal was denied in early December 2019. When asked about a possible rematch, Paul expressed his support for the idea, but KSI rejected any prospect of a third fight against Paul, saying "It's done ... I'm on to the next thing".
|Lou Moret||Patrick Russell||Zachary Young|
|Cruiserweight||KSI||def.||Logan Paul||SD||6/6||—||Note 1, 2|
|Super middleweight||Billy Joe Saunders (c)||def.||Marcelo Esteban Coceres||TKO||11/12||1:59||Note 3|
|Lightweight||Devin Haney (c)||def.||Alfredo Santiago Alvarez||UD||12/12||—||Note 4|
|Super middleweight||Nikita Ababiy||def.||Jonathan Batista||DQ||1/4||—|
|Super bantamweight||Ronny Rios||def.||Hugo Berrio||KO||4/12||2:56|
|Super middleweight||Diego Pacheco||def.||Aaron Casper||KO||4/6||2:56|
|Super welterweight||Reshat Mati||def.||Cody Peterson||KO||2/6||1:41|
|Cruiserweight||Josh Brueckner||def.||Tyler Smith||UD||4/4||—||Note 5, 6|
^Note 1 KSI's professional debut
^Note 2 Paul's professional debut
^Note 3 For WBO super middleweight title
^Note 4 For WBC lightweight title
^Note 5 Brueckner's professional debut
^Note 6 Smith's professional debut
A number of celebrities were in attendance; Canadian singer Justin Bieber was among Paul's entourage, joining him on the ring walk, while rappers Rick Ross, S-X and Lil Baby performed for KSI's ring walk. Other figures in attendance included Wiz Khalifa, UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley, Dan Bilzerian, Mike Tyson, Daniel Keem, as well as all the members of the Sidemen.
The fight was streamed live on DAZN in the United States and seven other countries. The fight was streamed live on Sky Sports Box Office in the United Kingdom and Ireland for a fee of £9.95. The fight was streamed live on FITE TV in the countries where the rights are not sold. Due to piracy concerns, the fight was not broadcast on YouTube, like the previous event, which lost an estimated 1.2 million potential pay-per-view buys to pirated Twitch streams.
|International (unsold markets)||N/A||FITE TV|
|United States (host)||N/A||DAZN|
|United Kingdom||N/A||Sky Sports Box Office|
|Brunei||N/A||Astro Box Office||Astro GO|
|Indonesia||Mola TV||N/A||Mola TV On Demand|
|New Zealand||N/A||Sky Sport News||N/A||Sky Go|
|Philippines||5 (delayed)||N/A||ESPN5 (delayed)|
|Poland||TVP Sport||N/A||TVP Stream|
|Taiwan||N/A||Eleven Sports||N/A||Eleven Sports|
As of 9 November 2019
Both KSI and Paul earned a minimum of $900,000 for the bout as stipulated in their contract with the California State Athletic Commission, although their final earnings from the fight are expected to be much higher.
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