The boxing world seems to be living in the past when it comes to marketing and promotion.
When Eddie Hearn decided to promote the KSI vs. Logan Paul 2 bout in Los Angeles as the main event featuring real boxers on the undercard, many diehard boxing fans claimed it was a slap in the face to real boxers.
KSI and Logan Paul are going to headline the event in their pro-boxing debut. Both guys have shown nothing but respect for the sport of boxing and to boxers, but the boxing fans seem to have issue with these guys while many pro boxers are giving them props for having the guts to step into the ring and help promote the sport.
I think Hearn is the only promoter in boxing who is really trying to take advantage of the internet and connect with the youth. KSI and Logan Paul are two huge YouTube sensations with millions of fans, they also bring a new set of eyes to the sport on November 9, 2019.
Hearn believes by mixing the KSI vs. Logan Paul rematch with professional boxing matches it will hopefully gain some interest among the young viewers deciding to tune in because of the main event.
Sure most of the younger fans will only care about the KSI vs Logan Paul rematch, but all it takes is a percentage of those viewers to cross over to boxing and fall in love with the sport.
I know many boxing fans who would never follow UFC out of pride, but these YouTube fans probably never had interest in boxing until their favorite stars fought last summer on a highly successful YouTube PPV show in England that drew over 1 million pay-per-view buys worldwide.
Old-time promoters like Bob Arum and Don King are out of touch with the youth and in order to keep the sport alive and thriving, promoters need to find ways to reach a broader audience.
They need to get with the times and try to push the sport toward a younger generation especially since we live in the social media age with a lot of ways to build up an event online and reach millions worldwide.
Just look at the Ultimate Fighting Championship. The UFC has done a great job pushing the sport of mixed martial arts into the mainstream and grabbing the younger demographic that boxing has long neglected.
UFC President Dana White is the mastermind behind the surge of MMA by taking advantage of internet avenues and social media.
The UFC has a countdown show on YouTube called Embedded. The show is several parts following the fighters around toward the end of fight camp on their way to the event location and usually begins on fight week. I enjoy watching the short 10 minute long videos every day before the UFC event because it builds up anticipation for fight night.
Another thing great thing about the UFC is they push all the fighters. Even the undercard fighters are stars and become well known to mma fans. With boxing, the 24/7 or All Access type shows solely focus on the main event fighters. Embedded and UFC countdown series tries to cover the top 4 fights billed on the main card. They show us the personality of these fighters and it makes the audience more familiar with them.
The UFC builds new stars by marketing them with short segments, interviews and giving glimpses of their background and training camps so viewers gain interest.
What is interesting about Dana White is he grew up a huge boxing fan and is a former boxing trainer who trained under Jeff Mayweather in Las Vegas before he got involved with UFC. He also helped promote the second biggest boxing event with Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Conor McGregor.
White has said numerous times that he is going to get involved with boxing. His announcement wasn’t accepted well from the hardcore boxing fans online or old promoters like Bob Arum who called him a “Piece of Crap.” It’s almost like they are grumpy old men who refuse to change and cannot accept new faces. They want the sport exclusively for themselves and are set in their ways.
Boxing fans should drop the negativity and welcome Dana White and anyone else interesting in getting involved with boxing and wanting to help the sport grow with open arms. It shows that they see something in boxing and want to help it and not destroy it.
The boxing world should support this KSI vs. Logan Paul event on November 9 because the publicity is only good for the sport. If you love boxing and you want to see it continue to strive and gain prominence again in the mainstream then you must accept change and embrace it.