Can Boxing Learn Anything From KSI/Logan Paul

Can Boxing Learn Anything From KSI/Logan Paul

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.

Steven Donnell

Beat To The Punch Ep

Beat To The Punch Ep30

Beat To The Punch Ep30

https://www.buzzsprout.com/206783/2018823-beat-to-the-punch-ep30.js?player=small

I was joined on the call by Riku to talk about all this weeks boxing including the WBSS finals between Inoue vs Donair and Taylor vs Prograis. We also spoke about Canelos win against Kovalev and Crolla’s testimonial fight. We also touched on the WBC’s poor 2019.

Buzzsprout link

Spotify Link

YouTube link

Dillian Whyte – Always A Bridesmaid, Never A Bride

Dillian Whyte – Always A Bridesmaid, Never A Bride

Remember that feeling when you first start out in your new career as a trainee or an apprentice. Do you remember how you stumbled and fumbled your way through those early years never really sure what you were doing or even if you were doing to right. With every year that passed all you wanted to do is get better at your job, the thought of actually progressing your career never enters your mind, you just want to get to a qualified level and eventually you get there. The years pass like they always do and suddenly you start to look up the way, you are no longer satisfied with where you are, you want to take that next step up the ladder, this is where Dillian Whyte is now at in his career.

Whyte may not be everyones cup of tea but no one can deny that “The Body Snatcher” is now one of the UK’s biggest boxing stars. As years go 2018 was an absolute blinder for the 30 year old Brixton man beating former World Champions Lucas Browne and Joseph Parker whilst becoming a PPV star along the way, something of a dying breed now in the UK.

Whyte may have done everything asked of him in the ring but his success was only made possible due to the opportunities Eddie Hearn and Matchroom got him. With the lack of PPV fighters now at Matchroom and Sky demanding Eddie Hearn fill PPV dates Whyte and Hearn needed each other and it paid off big time. There has always been a problem lurking on the horizon that was sure to come to the fore eventually.

Ever since Olympic Gold Medalist Anthony Joshua turned pro he has teamed up with Eddie Hearn and together they have taken British boxing to a whole new level. When it comes to boxing there are few bigger names than the 29 year old Watford man in the sport. Selling out stadiums, massive PPV sales, hundreds of endorsements deals with major brands, Joshua truly is a promoters dream and that leaves Dillian Whyte in an awkward position.

It is human nature that with success comes an inflated ego. That thing that goes past self confidence and becomes an overbearing feeling of self worth. We are now seeing cracks appearing in the Whyte/Hearn relationship. The Brixton man has been open about the idea of leaving Eddie Hearn, even admitting he was flirting with other promoters whilst in the US for Pacquiao/Broner fight. Whyte is at a cross road in his career. He must decided if he is happy to plod along with Eddie making good money but always being the bridesmaid, never the bride or is it time to let his ego fly. At 30 years old Dillion may never be in this strong position again and it is imperative that he plays the right hand here. Eddie Hearn has made Dillian Whyte a very wealthy man, Is Whyte willing to risk all that for a shot at glory.

Steven Donnell

No Real Blow In Losing Your “0”

No Real Blow In Losing Your “0”

There are thousands of ways too judged a boxer on fight night. You can watch the way in which he/she moves around the ring, you can look out for how they get their shots off or even see how he or she avoids getting hit or reacts after taking a shot.

Last weekend we seen one of matchroom’s top prospects Ted Cheeseman fall way short of the mark in his step up to European Title level against an all but unknown Spaniard Sergio Garcia. Cheeseman who is just 23 years old has taken a lot of criticism in the wake of his first defeat, most of which has been unjust if you ask me. There is nothing boxing fans loath more than a protected fighter, We lose all respect for boxers who will chase mismatch after mismatch to keep the losses on their record at zero. All to often the sport now seems to wrongly put far to much stock in a fighters “0”…..Why?.

I have been lucky enough to interview some great boxers past and present over the past couple of years. One of my favourite interviews I have done is when i had the pleasure of talking to fellow Scotsman and boxing ensyclopedia Alex Arthur. In that Interview Alex tells me that he learned more in in his losses than in any of victories. No boxer really knows just what he/she is made of until they have had the type of fight “Amazing” Alex Arthur had with Michael Gomez.

When watching Ted Cheeseman come up against a more skilled, a more refined and better boxer I couldn’t help but get flashbacks of Arthur/Gomez. Cheeseman stepped up and fell short but I don’t see how that leaves him open to criticism. There is no doubt that Cheeseman was ill equipped to deal with Garcia on Saturday night but no one will know that more than Cheeseman himself. “The Big Cheese” may have lost his “0” but he has traded it for priceless experience at a very good level. Ted has seen where he needs to get to if he wants to take the next step in his career trading that “0” should be something more young fighters are willing to do. I have no doubt this lad will be back looking to fight for the European Title soon but lets wait and see what adjustments this lad makes before we line up to criticise him.

Steven Donnell

AJ’s US Damage Control Was More Damaging

AJ’s US Damage Control Was More Damaging

We have all been in that near intolarable position when we have been completely caught off guard. A time when a situation has you completely rattled and searching your brain to find you a way out. Now anyone who has found themselves in this position will tell you it is your immediate reaction that will make or break how you recover from it. Some take it in their stride never really letting anyone know the panic and dismay hidden behind their poker face whilst others get flustered, ramble maybe even get a little embarrassed as the situation gets the better of them. This week we  seen Anthony Joshua may have just found himself in one of the afore mentioned kind of situations.

In the crazy world of boxing the top fighters may only fight three times per year so it is imperative that fans are kept entertained in the long spells between fights. With the help of technology and fans thirst for instant information we have created a kind of WWE type soap opera which keeps fans in the loop and entertained. The emergence of personalities like Eddie Hearn has seen boxing revitalised in the UK. Hearn is a master at exploiting social media and instant news outlets in a way that no other promoter can, but over the past few months we have seen Hearn take a few L’s in the boxing the media with his lies leaving poor old AJ in a tough position.

Anyone who has seen a deposition on TV or a police interview tape will know once something has been recorded it cannot be taken back. We have all seen a courtroom drama where a witness or a suspect may say something which contradicts a previous statement, this is usually the final nail in the coffin in the movies where the the tower of lies come crashing down. In boxing terms it isn’t the the final nail in the coffin, it’s much worse for a promoter, it means fans will now scrutinise every word you say on the situation past, present and future and that’s something no salesman wants.

For the last year the AJ/Wilder saga has played out in the boxing media. At the start it was entertaining seeing all these big characters go at it on a daily basis but as it became clear that no fight was not forthcoming it became more of an annoyance trying to keep up with the who said what. The more time past the more it seemed to me that Eddie Hearn was on the back foot starting with him banning Wilder from entering the ring to call out AJ after Joshua had beaten Parker, then we had him shouting about proof of funds when Wilders team made an offer of $50m after Joshua had publicly demanded that sum. Team Wilder played their ace card when they agreed to fight former unified champion Tyson Fury. Once announced Hearn said the fight would not happen, he said it would be a snooze fest and as it turned out he was wrong on both accounts. Wilder vs Fury was a great fight and ended up doing well commercially and will more than likely do even bigger numbers in the rematch which looks like it could happen next year, leaving AJ locked out.

This week we have seen Anthony Joshua appear on US TV in an attempt to regain the initiative in the AJ/Wilder saga, but with one hand tied behind his back I think he failed miserably. The problem Anthony Joshua had was that his team have made so many contradictory claims in the past that he didn’t really have anywhere to go. For the first time I thought AJ looked frustrated and a little out of depth. In the interview when talking about a unification with fellow Brit Tyson Fury, Joshua says he has never heard anybody talk about being lineal champion and that people when starting out wanted to be IBO,WBA,IBF,WBO and WBC Champion, which is a bizarre statement to make especially when he used the IBO title to discredit the Lineal title. He also said something along the lines that they had booked Wembley for the Wilder fight, but again that just isn’t true as only a couple of months ago Team AJ set a deadline for Wilder to sign to fight AJ at Wembley, the deadline was BEFORE Wilder fought Fury in the biggest fight of his a career.

I have to admit I did feel sympathy for AJ as his trip to the US seemed like a forced attempt at damage control for the AJ brand. He came across very transparent on US TV and it looked to me like his team that have turned him into a superstar have really let him down on this instance. Where could Joshua go after the countless Eddie Hearn IFL interviews with different claims and counter claims each week. What could he say that wouldn’t see him dig an even bigger hole and be dragged into the abyss of contradictions. I have said time and time again that I have no doubt that Anthony Joshua the man, the fighter wants to fight the best. The problem AJ has is that he is commodity with many shareholders who are not willing to risk there asset in a fight…..not yet anyway.

Steven Donnell 

@DjayBoxingBlog