This month boxing has seen its biggest event of the year take place. An event that has seen DAZN reach its largest number of viewers in the US since the online streaming service launched. An event that has seen Sky Box Office reach its largest number of PPV sales this year, prompting Eddie Hearn to say “They done even more PPV sales than AJ vs Ruiz”. Now you would be forgiven for thinking i am talking about Canelo Alvarez’s venture up to Light Heavyweight to claim his fourth world title at different weight class (or third but lets not get into that) when he knocked out Sergey Kovalev but no, this time boxings biggest superstar has been outshone by the Logan Paul vs KSI rematch, two youtubers with some “Beef” as the young folk say nowadays.
This was the rematch after the two vloggers had met in the UK selling out Manchesters 20,000 MEN arena, not to bad for two people I have never heard of. As if that wasn’t hard enough these two kids also streamed the event live on youtube as a PPV which seen total revenue for the event fall in at around £150m, and with numbers like that it was only a matter of time before boxing got some of that action. The second fight seen Eddie Hearn secure the promotional rights to the fight which took place in the Staples Centre, LA and was broadcast around the world on DAZN and Sky Sports Box Office, two platforms which looked to be needing as boost in 2019. Bringing boxing people into what was an internet event proved to be a smart move by these two kids.
Due to this fight taking place in LA the purses were made public. These figures that were made public said that both Logan Paul and KSI were making $900,000 for this fight. Now we all know that is a fraction of what these kids made but this is where boxing’s businessmen earn their keep. The larger share of the money will be spread out, filtered and set aside all for the aim of paying less tax, something Al Haymon has mastered over the years for his fighters, thats why nobody leaves Al Haymon right?. Bringing in a boxing machine like matchroom also means bringing onboard people who know how to organise press tours across two contitnents, people who can build the fight on TV platforms via tv programming and people who can get the boxing press to legitimise this event because it’s in their best interests do so.
Now we have seen what these kids have learned from the boxing but is there anything boxing can learn from these kids?.
The world has changed dramatically over the past 15 years. In days gone by if you wanted to be a celebrity you had be on TV or in the movies but with the emergence of social media the world has changed. In todays social media mad world profile is everything and social media gives you that platform with endless possibilities to build that profile, so why today do we still have boxers without a twitter or a youtube channel?. There is nothing people like more than genuine characters and boxing is a sport full of them so why is it I can only name two boxers ( Dave Allen & Ryan Garcia) who exploit social media for all its worth. The aim for any boxer trying to make it in the sport today is to be a personality as well as a boxer, and the only way to do that is to interact and let people see your personality, If your a good-looking kid sell that, Ryan Garcia is on the verge of becoming a superstar due to his looks.
There are a million podcasts and media outlets out there today that would not only promote fighters but get them “on the job” media training which will pay off in the long run. with out youtube interviews We used to mix our boxing interviews with photos ,training video and music to make a small promotional videos for fighters to share. Now imagine you as a fighter got to control not only what you get to talk about in an interview but the full format if the interview and the best way to put your personality across mix it with your own music etc and put it out on your own youtube channel or facebook where the reach is infinite.
It should be said that Not all fighters are destined for the top, in fact some boxers decide early on that they will earn a living from giving other prospects work out. These journeymen are pivotal to the sport and the progression of young fighters, these guys know their place in the sport and don’t need the headache of the social media work and I completely understand that. There are those though that think a boxers job is only in camp or in the ring and sadly in todays all access world that just isn’t enough anymore.