As huge social media stars have taken the boxing industry by storm, so too has the viewing channel of live streaming. Pay-per-views are the norm in the industry now, with giants like DAZN dominating a lot of the big-name fights.

Causing mass controversy and debates within the boxing fanbase, though, just how impactful has ‘influencer boxing’ been to the industry and the world of streaming?

Source: Unsplash

The World of Streaming

It’s undeniable that the rising industry of influencer boxing has seen a spike in streaming – numbers don’t lie, and the statistics have been astounding. It’s worth noting, though, that there are factors that have influenced streaming figures globally over the years and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. A recent study in America revealed that football and basketball are the most streamed sports in the US, as stated in ExpressVPN’s analysis of streaming services. This may be because these sports have roots in traditional entertainment for decades and influencer boxing is still relatively new. 

Influencer Boxing is Born

Kickstarted by Brighton-born YouTuber Joe Weller, who faced off with global megastar KSI in the first of these events, the world of ‘influencer boxing’ has thrived to a point that was once unimaginable.

Amongst others, KSI, Logan Paul, and Jake Paul are officially registered as professional boxers and hold the record for some of the most watched pay-per-view events in history – a crazy feat for guys who started their career making silly videos in their bedroom.

After a series of funny and intense press conferences leading up to their first fight in 2018, KSI and Logan Paul shocked the world with the outcome of the bout; amassing over 1.3 million pay-per-views and millions more views once uploaded onto YouTube. The event marked a point in history for this upcoming and controversial industry.

Slated by traditional fans of boxing, this area is still a difficult one. While many believe it is ruining the sport, there seems to be little evidence to support this claim. It’s true that these influencer boxers are not as talented or committed to the sport as the professional boxers who earn much less money for their smaller, higher-quality fights. 

Source: Unsplash

With 1.3 million viewers on the first event, you can imagine that a very small percentage of these viewers were existing boxing fans who were neither fans of KSI nor Logan Paul. The audience would have likely consisted of the influencers’ fans who may not have been accustomed to the boxing industry. That said, this means that millions of individuals are becoming exposed to the wonderful sport that is boxing.

This means that a whole new market will become fans of the sport and possibly take it up themselves to build the future generation of fighters. This will likely boost DAZN’s streaming statistics and exposure to these main events.

If the by-product of influencer boxing is that a couple of YouTubers-turned-amateur-boxers get rich for innovating the route to the top, perhaps it is fair enough. Maybe the true impact these influencers have won’t become apparent until their current audiences mature, but it is worth considering their impact with an open mind; the movement might just prove pivotal to the boxing scene, and the future of streaming.

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