With Jake Paul’s fight against Tommy Fury just around the corner, many boxing enthusiasts have been left scratching their heads in recent years over the emergence in popularity of celebrity boxing. We’ve seen Mike Tyson, Floyd Mayweather, Conor McGregor and more fighting legends give their opinions on the new craze, which has captivated the Gen Z audience, while frustrating older fans.
Little was known about the Paul brothers before a few years ago and after gaining a professional licence, the online content creator will step into the ring Fury — brother of world heavyweight champion Tyson. While his family roots may have him as a favourite in the Paddy Power Jake Paul vs Tommy Fury odds, Paul should certainly not be underestimated, as one of the pioneers of YouTube boxing. Read on, as we go through a few more key figures in unearthing this new breed of the sport.
KSI, who some say was one of the ones who started the influencer boxing appetite, grew to prominence with his YouTube comedy videos, and is known mostly in the boxing world for his duo of bouts with Jake’s brother, Logan Paul.
He fought Joe Weller in the original YouTube bout that got the wheels in motion, before fighting Paul once on British soil then in the states. He took time away from the ring to pursue a music career, making it into the charts with some of his albums and tours, you can clearly see by the sheer graining and effort in his regime that Olajutunji is more than capable of returning to boxing at any given moment. Many believed he would be Jake Paul’s next opponent but only time will tell if these two ever step in the ring.
Originally unsure of Youtube boxing’s credibility and longevity, Eddie Hearn, one of the biggest promoters in the sport, and someone very knowledgeable when it comes to boxing tips, had his head turned when he saw the success of KSI’s fight with Logan Paul. The Londoner, who also promotes the likes of Anthony Joshua and Callum Smith, has been overseen a new era of success at Matchroom Boxing, and latched onto the YouTube scene, turning it into a new phenomenon from something of a grassroots scene to a real Hollywood event: “I’ve been on that side when I did KSI vs Logan Paul,” Hearn said.
“It’s a mad world and, since I did that fight, it seems like there’s a YouTube fight every week. I’ve tried to move a little bit away from that because I think boxing needs to stand up and be counted and the only way we can do that is to make great fights.”
Born in Saudi Arabia, Ali Loui Al-Fakhri better known as AnEsonGib, was one of Jake Paul’s first opponents. Unfortunately, things didn’t workout and he was beat inside the opening two minutes of the first round in embarrassing fashion. However, he is one of the only original YouTube boxers to continue pursuing a boxing career.
AnEsonGib was handed victory by a governing body after his fight with Tayler Holder at the YouTube vs TikTok Boxing event was ruled as a controversial draw. The YouTuber, who has over two million subscribers, was unable to convince the ringside judges on the night that he had won the fight, leading to an uproar on social media believing that his hand should have been raised at the end of the event. Before the official decision was overturned.