Last Saturday popular Youtube creators Logan Paul and KSI made their pro boxing debuts, against each other in the main event on the DAZN streaming service. The Youtubers were meeting in the ring for the 2nd time, after their highly publicized amateur fight ended in a draw. It went on to overshadow several title fights, and continues the trend of novelty fights taking center stage.
DAZN also was behind the bizarre decision recently to stall the main event clash between Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Sergei “Krusher” Kovalev for the WBO light heavyweight title. Both fighters remained in their locker rooms, almost napping, while the UFC put on their own novelty “title” fight. Rather than compete with the much hyped, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson attended, Bad Mother****er Title fight between Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz.
After seeing these things happen in consecutive weeks, it is incredibly hard to believe that boxing is back to being a premier sport, or at least being treated like one. Canelo Alvarez is the biggest draw in boxing and is one of the highest paid figures in sports of all time, and was forced to wait around for another sport, on another network to finish. Kovalev is also a multi time title holder and main event draw himself, and had to wait right along side while Masvidal and Diaz fought for a made up belt.
Then the next week champions Billy Joe Saunders and Devin Haney both fought on the undercard of Paul/KSI 2, and neither fought a premier opponent or one that would entice a new viewer to watch them again. If DAZN was hoping to cash in on people following from Youtube they did not create an advantageous situation for their fighters. DAZN and boxing itself are letting themselves be used to promote celebrities and bowing down to the UFC, and it will not pay off in the long run.
Boxing did not win.