YouTube Stars’ Fight Results in a Draw at Manchester Arena
YouTube influencers, 25-year-old KSI from Watford and 22-year-old American Logan Paul, met in a sponsored, livestreamed match on August 25th in Manchester.
Across the pond social media rivals, KSI (real name Olajide Olatunji) and Logan Paul boast an enormous number of subscribers between them, KSI with approximately 19.9 million and Paul with 18.3 million. KSI challenged Paul to the fight in February following his win over fellow YouTuber Joe Weller. Paul posted a video accepting the challenge, inciting a six-month-long exchange of videos including ‘diss tracks’ and other insulting clips between the two.
The event was sponsored by MansionBet, whose chief operating officer Shelly Suter-Hadad said before the match: “We are excited to expand our sponsorship portfolio with such a huge, media-focused event.” She then added: “We recognise that sports betting should be a fun, safe environment, and with this sponsorship so heavily based on online comedy, it was the perfect fit for us.”
18,000 fans attended the fight at Manchester Arena paying an average ticket price of £135. Estimates suggest between 770,000 and 850,000 people livestreamed the fight on YouTube which cost viewers £7.50 per stream, meaning the event raised £8,205,000 conservatively, just from ticket sales and pay-per-view streams. This number could have been much higher according to a report from The Verge that found that at one point during the fight, more than one million people were viewing the fight on the free livestreaming platform Twitch.
After six rounds of boxing in which the pair took turns as the favourite to win, the final result was a draw. Two of the three judges scored the fight as 57-57 while the third decided it was 58-57 in favour of KSI. The two influencers are complete novices in the boxing ring with only KSI having fought before. On the result, KSI said: “I guess we have to have a rematch”, Paul responded with “The rematch is going to be f***ing crazy.” The rematch is expected to take place at latest in February 2019 in Paul’s native America.