Eddie Hearn the very outspoken promoter of Matchroom boxing is making waves promoting the rematch between two YouTube stars, KSI and Logan Paul on November 9 at the Staples Center in Downtown, LA.
KSI and Paul put on an exciting event when they fought in the UK last summer in an Amateur bout live streamed on YouTube. With over a million Pay-Per-View buys the KSI vs. Logan Paul event which Hearn originally scoffed at peaked his interest when he saw massive success and the growing market for social media promotion.
Hearn is now the lead promoter and the fight will be fought under professional boxing rules this time the YouTube sensations with duke it out on DAZN the popular live streaming service. Hearn will load the undercard with top professional boxers hoping the event lures a younger audience to boxing.
The Sports Man was able to get an exclusive interview with Hearn, he discusses the KSI-Logan Paul promotion being a circus, Tyson Fury’s tough bout with Otto Wallin, Anthony Joshua, Katie Taylor, Dillian Whyte, and Anthony Crolla’s decision to retire.
KSI vs Logan Paul
On the affect the fight will have on the sport
“It’s a circus. I think it will be good for the sport, but it’s a circus.
“I have to be honest, I was stood in the press conference thinking ‘What the f**k is going on here?’.
“Then I looked at the numbers and I saw that 700,000 people were watching the press conference live on their channels. I think now 10 million people have watched the press conference.
“So what’s the global audience for this fight going to be? I don’t know, in excessive of 50 million?
“If we can retain 1% to the sport, then that’s massive for the sport, but we’ve got to work hard to do that. It’s not going to be easy, I’d like to retain 10%.
“If we can showcase why we love the sport, Devin Haney, Billy Joe Saunders and show this new audience how great the sport is, then we’ve got a chance.
“We can’t ignore this new world that we live in. Olympic athletes are no longer role models for the younger generation, Youtube stars are. As sad as it may seem, that’s the truth, that’s the world we live in.
“We just need to face reality, embrace it and try and use that to keep growing boxing.”
On AJ using a sports psychologist
“He’s been using a sports psychologist for five years, even before he turned pro. They have it in the GB setup, every top athlete sees a sports psychologist, and it’s great for them to get their head around where they’re at, especially when you become the sort of star that AJ is.
“When you go from this kid who’s gone from a flat with his mum, to somebody who can’t even walk down the street without getting mobbed, then it’s not easy to adapt to becoming that person.”
On his victory over Otto Wallin
“I give every fighter credit, but I didn’t see the fight as I was on a plane. However, Fury was poor and obviously the cut made the fight a lot closer than it should of been.
“They didn’t sell any tickets, it was a flat event but Fury got a load of money, so congratulations to him and I’m sure in a tougher fight he would perform much better because he’s a quality fighter.”
On who he thinks Whyte will fight on his return to the ring
“If he doesn’t come back to the ring this year then it could be the winner of Wilder versus Fury. Hopefully we will get an announcement in October and maybe he will be good to fight by December or January.”
On the effect she’s had on Women’s Boxing
“As an amateur and as a pro, she’s been the one that’s broken the mold. She’s been the one that’s inspired that next generation.
“Firstly, introducing women’s boxing to the Olympics, she’s responsible for that.
“Then going and winning five World Championships and Olympic Gold, then unifying and becoming the undisputed Lightweight World Champion and now moving up to try and become a two weight World Champion, she’s someone who’s inspiring as she’s always trying to push the boundaries.”
On the fight vs Christina Linardatou
“It’s going to be a tough fight this time around, she’s going to be undersized against a very aggressive Christina Linardatou, who’s a good World Champion in her own right, so it’s going to be interesting to see whether she can overcome her.”
On Crolla alluding to struggling after retirement
“I think the problem is when you get the buzz out of boxing like Crolla does, a guy who fills Manchester with such excitement, then once that leaves your life, that’s a piece of excitement and a buzz that you can’t get back.
“You have to focus on things you have a passion for, and for him that’s boxing and obviously his family as well.
“He’s a great man, a great family man, he needs to stay in the sport. I think he will be a brilliant coach as well.
“He needs to get the win on November 2nd. He doesn’t want an easy fight, he wants to go out in a proper fight.
“I’d love to see him leave with a win, it would be fantastic. Seven great nights he has given us at the Manchester Arena. John Murray, Darleys Perez one, Darleys Perez two, Ismael Barroso, Jorge Linares one, Jorge Linares two, Ricky Burns and now we are here again, so we are looking for him to get the victory.”
Interview courtesy of TheSportsMan.com