In an age where YouTube enjoys a user base of two billion global users, barely any realm of either sport or culture has remained untouched by its influence. Everything from cookery classes to make-up tutorials are now available on the world’s most famous video sharing site – and now the site also includes boxing, which is one of the most physical and tangible contact sports there is. Fox bet PA customers may even find themselves gambling on this niche branch of the sport one of these days – meaning it’s worth investigating as a trend. But what exactly is YouTube boxing – and is it a sustainable trend?
What is YouTube boxing?
The term “YouTube boxing” refers to the practice of streaming a boxing match over the video-sharing site YouTube. In some ways, “YouTube” and “boxing” seem like a contradiction in terms. YouTube is, after all, a video-based service rather than a real-life one. One of the joys of watching boxing is the excitement of a live session in the ring. For a live audience, being up close to the fighting action can provide a real rush of adrenalin.
In some ways, watching boxing on YouTube is no different to watching it on a television, and the screen can interfere with the realistic experience in both scenarios. Perhaps the main difference is that YouTube boxing isn’t always done by professionals, or at least by accredited sportspeople. In some cases of famous YouTube bouts, the participants have been YouTube video performers first and foremost, and sportspeople later.
What have been the key milestones?
Given the relative youth of YouTube compared to boxing as a sport with a strong and rich history, it’s no surprise to find that there are few examples of YouTube boxing bouts. The most famous ones in recent times appear to have been the fights between the YouTubers Logan Paul and KSI, both of whom were vloggers before they held their fight. More than one of these has taken place. The first took place on August 25th back in 2018, and it had in many ways a professional enough looking veneer. It took place in the Manchester Arena and was streamed online.
KSI has also fought against a range of other people, such as fellow YouTuber Joe Weller – and that one took place in London. It’s worth noting, though, that there appears to be a burgeoning industry in this regard. One of the fights between KSI and Logan Paul was pay-per-view, and that was the first time a YouTube boxing match had been paid-for. It cost just $8 US dollars to watch – which, as will be outlined below, can represent a decent saving for those looking to make the move away from cable TV.
Will it take off?
Whether or not YouTube boxing will take off is anyone’s guess, and given that nobody has a crystal ball, it won’t be possible to know until a few more years have passed. There is some evidence to suggest that it’s popular: a match between KSI and Logan Paul held in November 2019 had almost four million views, for example. Given the involvement of organizations such as Sky Sports, corporate media backing is in place – which might make it less likely for YouTube boxing to peter out.
As with anything that is popular on YouTube, it could be a fad. There are plenty of examples of so-called trends on the video site which have petered out, such as the “cinnamon challenge”. However, changing patterns of media consumption could well play in YouTube boxing’s favor. Cable television is getting less and less popular for many people thanks to the high subscription prices and the perception of cash being wasted on content which isn’t watched. Given that cable shows a wide range of sports, sports which can be accessed on the web at a cheap price and with the simple tap of a tablet could grow in popularity as time goes by.
YouTube boxing is, like so much on the site, a new phenomenon. Whether or not matches like the ones which occurred between KSI and Logan Paul will become a regular fixture in the schedules of both viewers of matches and those who wager on them, though, is far from certain. Perhaps only time will tell.