On February 3rd, 2018, Olajide William “JJ” Olatunji (better known as KSI) took on fellow YouTube personality Joe Weller at the Copper Box Arena in Hackney Wick, London. On Youtube, the fight generated 21 million views and proceeded to grow to over 25 million in the next several days, making it the biggest white-collar amateur boxing match in history.
KSI, who was the bigger man of the two, used his height and reach to keep Weller at a distance throughout the fight and eventually put a stop to the action with 1 minute and 30 seconds left in the third round. It goes without saying that with it being an amateur boxing match between two YouTube celebrities that the fight wasn’t always the most technically sound thing to watch. KSI demonstrated great movement in the two and a half rounds we got to see out of him in live action, but his hands remained too low at times, and he did take some shots from the smaller Weller. All in all, however, the fight was a great success, and KSI was awarded the inaugural YouTube Boxing championship belt.
KSI’s victory celebration was short-lived, and it took him little time to call out who he wanted next. He got onto the mic after the fight and called out Jake Paul, Logan Paul or any of the Paul’s to be his next opponent. The challenge that KSI issued spiraled the internet into a whirlwind of drama and it was announced on February 24th, 2018 that Logan Paul would be squaring off against KSI on August 25th, with both of their younger brothers fighting each other on the undercard.
Experience means something in boxing, and they don’t call it the “sweet science” for nothing. Even if there has only been one fight in KSI’s career, he has spent more time thinking about angles and movement, which is something he had to put into a game plan when he faced Weller. KSI’s greatest strength is his movement, and if he is in shape for a six-round fight, the 25-year-old will hope to run circles around the more stout Paul in the ring.
Logan Paul has a wrestling background, which saw him place fifth at a state-level high school tournament. KSI’s advantage of performing in front of a crowd could be somewhat mitigated because of Paul’s experience competing in one-on-one situations. However, the 23-year-old isn’t going to carry the size advantage that was once thought. Paul comes in at two inches taller than KSI, but his weight advantage has been moderated. Paul weighed in at slightly under 190 pounds, and KSI weighed in at 187.
Who Will Win?
Let’s be honest; this is amateur boxing, and neither guy has had enough training in their lives to become technically sound enough to overcome their weaknesses. Weight isn’t going to be an excuse for why either guy wins or loses, and I think it ultimately comes down to two main things. It remains to be seen how Paul is able to defend himself , but from the KSI vs. Weller fight, I can safely say that unless KSI has improved dramatically in the last six months, he is going to have issues with Paul’s aggressive come-forward approach. If Paul can walk KSI down and make this a phone booth fight, he will ultimately wear down the Englishman and possibly be able to pull off a stoppage.
Assuming this fight will be fairly judged in KSI’s country, which isn’t a given, KSI’s only foreseeable path to victory is to keep this fight at a distance. He needs to jab and move and physically exhaust Paul. Kind of like how he did against Weller. The problem is Paul is a different animal, and it hard to imagine that KSI will be able to keep him away for six rounds.
Logan Paul fourth-round TKO
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