The history of YouTube boxing

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Which side do you think will win? Lee Lim

What are you here for? The drama or charity?

Influencer boxing first came into the mainstream in 2018 with KSI vs Joe Weller. Since then, influencer boxing matches have become more and more popular online. It has become normal for influencers to challenge other influencers they don’t like to boxing matches, even if the other influencer doesn’t accept.

Creator Clash 2, one of the biggest influencer boxing matches, recently started announcing their new fighters for the event. With Creator Clash 2 making its way around the influencer circles, I figured it was time to look back at some of the previous influencer boxing events and some of the controversy surrounding them.

Starting with KSI vs Logan Paul, this event was majorly promoted online. Many people called it ‘the biggest internet event in history.’ The fight was an amateur match that took place at AO Arena [AD1] in Manchester, England on August 25, 2018.

This match started with KSI asking Logan’s younger brother, Jake Paul, to box against him in the ring. The younger Paul brother agreed to this fight initially, but they decided to switch things up a bit. Jake stepped down so he could fight KSI’s youngest brother, Deji, while the older brothers, Logan and KSI, would fight each other.

Despite the fight being advertised equally as KSI vs Logan Paul and Deji vs Jake Paul, the event is still generally known as KSI vs Logan Paul. There were many occasions where opponents instigated reactions from each other outside the ring. During a press conference in July about the fight, both Logan and Jake Paul walked out early because of comments KSI and Deji were making about them and their personal relationships with other people.

Outside of that press conference, even more attacks were laid out. Fans of Deji and KSI allegedly attacked the Pauls’ vehicles. Greg Paul, Logan and Jake’s father, was hit in the head by one fan.

To attend the fight in person it would cost anywhere between €30 and €495 depending on what kind of ticket you got. If you weren’t going in person, you could pay €10 [AD2] to view it on pay-per-view. Exactly how much each fighter was paid is unknown, but it’s less than €20 million, while still being a high amount. The fight ended in a draw between Logan and KSI, while Jake beat Deji.

KSI and Logan Paul fought again in Los Angeles in November 2019. Unlike the first match, this was a professional fight. This fight came with a lot less drama between the pair, but many criticized it for being a professional fight. They saw it as insulting because they were not professional boxers. KSI won this fight. We have a much better estimate of the earnings in this fight, knowing that each fighter earned at least $900,000 USD, but likely quite a bit more.

One of the next big fights was the ‘Battle of the Platforms’ event in June 2021. It was advertised as a YouTubers vs TikTokers event. The headliners were Austin McBroom of the Ace Family and TikToker Bryce Hall.

The drama between McBroom and Hall started in December 2020. McBroom posted a video to his Instagram saying “I’ve got enough kids, but I’ll make you my son,” while being seen boxing in a training ring. Hall entered the picture in March 2021 when he posted screenshots to Twitter showing messages between the two. Hall said “All this because I won’t accept his little fight and now he’s crying because he can’t pay his cleaning lady,” alluding to McBroom’s alleged financial troubles at the time and whose home would be foreclosed on later that year.

In March 2021, Hall finally agreed to fight McBroom and the YouTubers vs TikTokers event came to life. Behind the event was McBroom’s own company, Social Gloves. On social media, the pair repeatedly traded blows, insulting each other. In the end, McBroom beat Hall, though this wasn’t the end of McBroom vs Hall.

By October 2021, Hall still had not been paid for participating in the fight. He said that McBroom owed him $5 million for the fight. By August 2022, Hall confirmed he had been paid, but money was still lost. According to Billboard, the event only brought in a maximum of $10 million, even though it cost $20 million to create.

Similar to the KSI vs Logan Paul fight, Battle of the Platforms had a pay-per-view package, and it was expected to sell at least 1.7 million packages, yet only sold 135,000.

The other company involved, Live X Live, sued McBroom for the loss of money around the fight. They claimed that, because of comments McBroom made after the fight, they lost almost $100 million.

One of the next big fights was Creator Clash. Unlike the other fights mentioned here, this was for charity. It took place on May 14, 2022, in Tampa, Florida. Many popular YouTubers participated in this event, including Arin from Game Grumps, animator TheOdd1sOut, SuperMega, and JustaMinx. The event was headlined by iDubbbz, the organizer of the event, and influencer doctor Doctor Mike.

Creator Clash started as a callout from iDubbbz to RiceGum in a 2018 video. In response, RiceGum asked for a boxing match, yet backed out later. iDubbbz decided to continue with the event and it would become known as Creator Clash. In the end, the event donated almost $1 million to three separate charities.

In December 2022, we saw another influencer boxing event with a twist. Ludwig’s Mogul Chessboxing Championship combined boxing and chess. Each fight alternated between boxing and chess, and the winner was decided by boxing means or chess means, whatever won first.

The event director behind Mogul Moves, Ludwig’s company, announced on their podcast, The Yard, that the event cost $1.6 million. The event did not make any money despite the hype around it, but it was close to breaking even. It was streamed on YouTube and the concurrent viewers peaked at 316,000.

Creator Clash 2 is set to occur on April 15, 2023, in Tampa, Florida. The headliners are iDubbbz and Alex Wassabi. In-person tickets range from $30 to $500 and pay-per-view pricing ranges from $20 to $35. At this event, you can see creators like Marisha Ray, Myth, Arin Hanson, Jarvis Johnson, Alanah Pearce, CrankGameplays, and Jack Manifold.

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