The reality of boxing goes through the 'streamers': "They act together and we don't."

Boxing is one of the oldest and most popular sports in the world. In its thousands of years of history, the sport has evolved from not wearing gloves, to rules set by the Marquess of Queensberry, to its first Olympic competition in 1904, to the acceptance of women’s competition, and now with boxing among YouTubers and Famous. In all its stages of history, it has been one of the sports with the greatest media attention, partly due to the morbidity of a hand-to-hand fight between its two contenders..

A few weeks ago we were able to see the last great phenomenon in the world of YouTubers and boxing. Jake Paul faced the boxer and brother of the heavyweight champion, Tommy Fury. The match was organized at the Diriyah Arena in Saudi Arabia, built exclusively for this event. And it was a total success, both at the box office and in the sale of PPV (pay per view) rights.. But this event is just the tip of the iceberg of a lucrative business that is gaining worldwide fame. In fact, here we have our own version with La Velada del Año by Ibai Llanos.

The forerunner of this movement was the British youtuber KSI, who, due to a fight with his colleague Joe Weller, organized a boxing evening with his fight in the background as a major media attraction. The fight that registered 1.6 million views on YouTube and was the starting signal for this new business. Since then we have seen KSI take on American streamer Logan Paul, on two occasions. And that the latter ends up competing in an exhibition for the best boxer of recent years, Floyd Mayweather. These are just some of the most publicized fights with youtubers as protagonists, but there is an industry behind it that is generating chilling numbers.

Ibai Llanos is one of the promoters of 'La Velada'.  (EFE/Alejandro Garcia) Ibai Llanos is one of the promoters of ‘La Velada’. (EFE/Alejandro Garcia)

The Promoters: KSI, Jake Paul and Ibai Llanos

KSI has become a major promoter of celebrity boxing matches. His promoter Misfits has reached an agreement to televise his evenings through DAZN worldwide. The last one, with him as headliner, It was broadcast on PPV and sales surpassed in the United States the fight between Gervonta Tank Davis and Héctor García, for the WBA lightweight world championship. The millions of loyal fans of the content creators seem to be in no rush to pay to watch the events.

Jake Paul has also created a boxing promotion called Most Valueble Promotions. Unlike KSI, it is focused on professional boxing, but its success is also notable. Paul has managed to close the most lucrative deal in the history of women’s boxing by facing his boxer, Amanda Serrano, against Katie Taylor at Madison Square Garden in New York. This match compensated, for the first time, both with a purse of more than seven figures. But the greatest achievement of the promoter was not this fight, but the previously mentioned one between Paul and Tommy Fury. For the first time, the youtuber was going to face a real boxer. It was his seventh fight but he had already beaten former UFC champions like Anderson Silva and Tyron Woodley. Fury won on points, but both fighters came away with their hands up: Fury’s earnings have been estimated at around $7 million, while Jake Paul has bagged around $20.

In Spain we also have our own version of combat between content creators. The great architect is Ibai Llanos, who has already announced the third edition of La Velada del Año. The first two events were an absolute success and the views on Twitch registered historical numbers. The commitment to the third edition is even greater, because it will be organized at the Cívitas Metropolitano in Madrid with a capacity for almost 70,000 people.

The presentation of the second edition of 'La Velada'.  (EFE/Enric Fontcuberta)The presentation of the second edition of 'La Velada'.  (EFE/Enric Fontcuberta) The presentation of the second edition of ‘La Velada’. (EFE/Enric Fontcuberta)

Boxing has to learn from the ‘youtubers’

Content creators have managed to attract millions of followers to see them play video games live, upload photos to social networks or play sports. His followers are mainly young people who are no longer interested in television content. A perfect example would be the comparison between the views of the Kings League and LaLiga. The kids are more interested in seeing the content of their idols than traditional football. This same thing is happening in boxing.

Boxers, especially in the United States and the United Kingdom, are realizing the importance of a following on social media. Many have ventured into creating video blogs in which they recount their day-to-day life, both when preparing for combat and when they are idle. The views of these videos translate into ticket sales of their fights, thanks to the fact that their followers can feel identified with the athletes. In the past, this work was done exclusively by the television channel that was going to broadcast the fight or the promoter of the event.

The Mixed Martial Arts promoter, UFC, has spent years innovating in the creation of content. It is currently possibly the leading company in the creation of quality content for any sport. They record documentaries prior to the fights, daily mini-documentaries of the daily life of the fighters in the days prior to the event, they control the social networks of their fighters… This has been transformed into contracts with television stations and sponsors, millions of followers on the networks of both the promoter and the fighters…

Gervonta Davis, during a fight in 2021. (EFE/Yoan Valat)Gervonta Davis, during a fight in 2021. (EFE/Yoan Valat) Gervonta Davis, during a fight in 2021. (EFE/Yoan Valat)

Gervonta Davis vs. Ryan Garcia

Another big problem with traditional boxing is the fights the public expects to see. Due to the rivalry between promoters and televisions, many of these cannot be organized, although this situation seems to be changing. A few days ago, one of the most anticipated fights in recent years was announced. Gervonta Davis will face Ryan Garcia on April 22 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. PPV sales are already estimated between one and two million in the United States alone, thanks to the loyal fans of both fighters.

Ryan García is the first boxer who has been able to communicate with the new generations who are interested in content creators. It has more than nine million followers on Instagram, more than five million on TikTok and more than one million on YouTube.. Gervonta Davis has a possibly more traditional boxing audience, but the mix of both will mean that this fight will surely become the most mediatic of the year.

Sandor Martín does not discredit 'La Velada' at all.  (EFE/Enric Fontcuberta)Sandor Martín does not discredit 'La Velada' at all.  (EFE/Enric Fontcuberta) Sandor Martín does not discredit ‘La Velada’ at all. (EFE/Enric Fontcuberta)

Sandor Martin’s opinion

The fighter from Barcelona, ​​recently named number one in the world ranking of the World Boxing Council at super lightweight, also collaborates with Ibai in La Velada del Año. “I think the first thing we have to learn from content creators is to collaborate together and get along. This community supports each other, while in boxing there are too many confrontations at the bureaucratic level that prevent boxers from different promoters from being able to face each other“Sandor Martín assures exclusively to El Confidencial.

The boxer, who rose to world fame after beating Mickey García in the US, highlights the role of boxers in communicating with his followers: “It is very difficult to be a boxer and content creator at the same time. The dedication, especially before a fight, is very demanding and combining sport with the creation of videos is very complicated.. Youtubers have been able to take advantage of boxing to continue creating content for their community.”

Finally, he tells us about the importance of social networks to engage with the boxing public: “I think boxers have to attract their public, but also focus on their training. If you don’t train 100%, the results will not be as expected. You have to find a middle ground“said the boxer.

Traditional boxing is beginning to listen to its loyal fans and this year it seems that we will be able to see several of the most demanded fights. In addition to Davis vs. Garcia, It appears that Tyson Fury has accepted the bout against Oleksandr Usyk on April 29 to unify all heavyweight belts.. These are the fights that are going to re-engage the public that has been demanding collaboration between promoters and television for years.

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Tarun Kumar

Tarun Kumar has worked in the News sector for 05 years and is currently the Owner and Editor of Then24. He reside in Delhi, India with his Family.

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