Are YouTubers ruining boxing? Sport’s biggest names not so sure

By Rory Carroll

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – With a battle in between boxing legend Floyd Mayweather and YouTube star Logan Paul looming, some fans are asking whether the increasing variety of star exhibit bouts is decreasing the sport to a carnival-style sideshow.

Sunday’s bout in Miami is anticipated to be a one-sided fight in favor of Mayweather (50-0) in spite of Paul (0-1) having to do with 50 pounds (23 kg) much heavier, 6 inches (15 cm) taller and 18 years more youthful than 44-year-old Mayweather, a brand-new grandpa.

However while perfectionists and pros like Saul “Canelo” Alvarez state the pattern is just an unsafe cash grab, a few of the sport’s most prominent names argue that the increasing tide of interest raises all boats.

“I’m a boxing historian,” Mike Tyson, the previous heavyweight champ of the world, informed Reuters.

“Boxing comes from the gutter,” he stated, describing its long history of debates including his own notorious 1997 battle versus Evander Holyfield, where he was disqualified for biting his challenger’s ear.

“So with YouTubers, anything anyone does with gloves on is paying homage to boxing,” Tyson stated. “Boxing can’t go any lower than where it started.”

He stated that anybody taking the danger of getting in the ring is worthy of regard. Still, Tyson does not offer Paul much of a possibility versus Mayweather, who is extensively thought about among the best fighters of perpetuity.

“Floyd is going to kill this guy, man,” Tyson stated with a laugh.

“Floyd stays in the gym, he’s never out of shape. He’s going to have so much fun winning this money.”

Mayweather, who is nicknamed “Money,” stated he anticipates to make north of $50 million from the battle, which will not count versus his unblemished expert record. He has actually called the battle “legalized bank robbery.”

BRAND-NEW PERIOD

Heavyweight Otto Wallin, who has actually battled the sport’s most significant names consisting of Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua, stated fighters working their method through the ranks can gain from what Logan and his fellow YouTuber-turned-boxer sibling, Jake Paul (3-0), have actually achieved.

“People want to see these guys for a reason and they have big followings,” he informed Reuters.

“Boxing-wise, they are not as good as real boxers, but there are people who will pay to see them fight, so I can’t really knock that.”

Wallin stated professional fighters, supervisors and promoters need to attempt to imitate the success of the Paul siblings, who have more than 40 million integrated customers to their particular channels.

“We can really fight, but maybe we have to promote ourselves better,” he stated.

To that end, Wallin stated he has actually employed a PR business to assist increase his profile.

“I’m working on it. It’s not easy, but it’s moving in the right direction,” he stated.

Tyson just recently battled fellow excellent Roy Jones Jr. to a draw under his “Legends Only” exhibit brand name in an occasion even doubters needed to confess produced an amusing bout.

ESPN boxing analyst Max Kellerman stated the success of that battle indicates the pattern of retired fighters lacing up their gloves is most likely to continue.

“I have a feeling that most of the people that paid to watch Roy Jones and Mike Tyson fight their exhibition left happy and would pay for a rematch or pay for another one that appealed to them,” Kellerman stated on his program.

“I know I would. So I don’t know if this is so much a bubble as it is a new kind of business model that may be with us for the foreseeable future.”

Tyson stated those holding on to out-of-date ideas of what boxing is require to understand that absolutely nothing is fixed.

“The world is changing. Everything is not going to happen the way it used to happen,” Tyson stated.

“The pandemic gave us the opportunity to show the world that. Whatever era it was before this, it’s over. This is a new world and they can’t even comprehend it,” he stated.

“Isn’t that fun? This is a new world.”

(Reporting by Rory Carroll in Los Angeles; Modifying by Matthew Lewis)

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.