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Eddie Hearn Switches Stance, Considering More YouTuber Fights

Leading up to the KSI-Logan Paul fight, Matchroom Boxing head Eddie Hearn told BoxingScene.com in an interview that YouTuber showdowns were a “one-off” and that he was not looking to do celebrity matches.

As the fight got closer and the magnitude of the event got bigger, Hearn shifted his attitude toward the novice spectacle even thought the fight drew nearly three thousand fans less in Los Angeles than the first one in Manchester last year.

“It has actually [changed my stance]. We’re numbers people in this game. Everyone is. Anything that delivers is good news for everybody. What we can’t do is turn into a circus and have random people fighting each other all over the place,” Hearn told BoxingScene.com.

“It’s a one off in that respect for me in terms of headlining a card, with a world championship undercard. I don’t think you’re going to see that a lot. Will you see other YouTubers fight on undercards moving forward? Much more likely.”

eddie-hearn_25

Immediately following the fight, Matchroom Boxing CEO Frank Smith said they were “very happy—smashed it” in terms of driving subscriptions for DAZN. He didn’t offer to share any specific numbers, nor did the OTT streaming device.

DAZN is reportedly set for a major live sporting events acquisition spree, per Axios. For the first time, it will create free programming to make more people aware of its product in the US, and they are raising $500 million to do so.

Along that journey, it has been gauging the appetite for similar-styled fights like KSI and Paul.

In an email survey obtained by BoxingScene.com, DAZN asked a series of questions like “imagine there was a boxing tournament that featured YouTube / celebrity personalities that ran throughout the year. How interested would you be in a boxing competition like that?” and “are they any other YouTubers or celebrities that you would like to see fight in a boxing match?”

“If it’s thrilling, if it’s exciting, you’re going to see many more of these, and it won’t just come from me,” said Hearn. “It will come from other promoters who look at the numbers and say, ‘we’ve got to do this.’ We can’t satisfy the demand of all of these celebrities and YouTubers.”

Hearn said fighters like Devin Haney and Billy Joe Saunders, who served as co-features for KSI and Paul, are fine with serving as chief support to a circus-like show.

“We saw fighter’s numbers grow digitally and socially through this event. It’s a big opportunity for them,” said Hearn. “It’s been amazing to learn about this experience and learn [KSI and Logan Paul’s] business. These guys are very smart people. Looking at the pre-buy numbers was blowing my mind. It was at the same level as an Anthony Joshua fight, or even bigger. They have earned the right to be here because they’ve built a brand and profile and they are taking it seriously.”

Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist and member of the Boxing Writers Assn. of America since 2011. He has written for the likes of the Guardian, USA Today, Philadelphia Inquirer, Men’s Health and NFL.com and currently does TV commentary for combat sports programming that airs on Fox Sports. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan or via email at manouk.akopyan@gmail.com.

User Comments and Feedback
Comment by Boris Johnson! on 11-16-2019

isn't Mike Tyson technically a youtuber now because of that hotbox? put him in vs AVGN

Comment by Oldskoolg on 11-16-2019

[QUOTE=THEFRESHBRAWLER;20192197]It’s crazy how it peaked so fast. I guess that’s karma for how arrogant their fans acted. Now their two top fighters have abandoned the UK. It’s sad[/QUOTE] It’s a shame that the international community associates english fans with the…

Comment by OldPal2018 on 11-16-2019

Who wouldn't want to watch a youtuber get punched in the face? It’s a dream come true. I only wish there was a live feed that showed every millennial receive a 3 punch combo to the head and neck. I…

Comment by Buggy bear on 11-16-2019

This could get out of control , some novice could get seriously hurt as it's so lax. Then what happens ?

Comment by ShaneMosleySr on 11-16-2019

Please give us promoter fights next. I want Hearn vs. Warren.

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