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Boxing has been one of two things in the past: An unregulated, underground arena for amateurs to win some quick cash, or an orderly, professional sport contested by athletes.
Now, it has divulged into something entirely different for some. The rise of celebrity exhibition fights has changed the face of boxing. What started with Floyd Mayweather making some quick cash following his retirement, has now become an absolute tidal wave of YouTubers, rappers and social media personalities getting into the ring for all sorts of different reasons.
This weekend was no different, with English rapper KSI squaring off against YouTuber and co-owner of the popular FaZe e-sports organisation, FaZe Temperrr.
KSI Follows Through on Pre-Fight Trash Talk
Prior to stepping in the ring with FaZe Temperrr on Saturday night, KSI had promised that he would deliver a first round knockout. And that’s exactly what the Watford-born rapper and online personality did.
After a tumultuous first two minutes that saw both fighters letting their guards down and exchanging blows, KSI delivered a premeditated one-two combination, catching FaZe Temperrr with a jab before landing a clean strike to the chin that sent him crashing into the corner. KSI knew that the job was done, and while FaZe Temperrr briefly regained his feet, the referee righted ruled the fight over as the Brazilian was clearly unsteady after the heavy blow to his head.
KSI went on to remind the world of his bold intentions after the bout ended, declaring, “I said I wanted a KO, I said I wanted in round one and here we are baby. I want you guys to understand the levels… Look at what I did to Temperrr. I’m on a different level and we’re going again! I’m hungry, ladies and gentlemen.”
Potential Fight With Jake Paul on the Cards If KSI Gets His Way
The win on Saturday night obviously gave KSI a healthy dose of confidence. Not only did he emphasise his prowess as a boxer, but also his desired future opponents.
“Joe Fournier, I want a piece of that! [Tyron] Woodley, I want a piece of that. Slim [Albaher], whoever it is, I’ll destroy! I need to be tested. I more tests before I reach the final level… Jake mother f***ing Paul.”
KSI’s confident call out of Jake Paul was met with a quick response by the YouTuber-come-boxer, as he tweeted, “I love when KSI wins because it gives him more confidence for him to actually get in the ring with me.” Paul also added that he was “shaking with fear” in a video posted on Logan Paul’s social media.
Whether or not the two are able to meet for a fight any time soon is another question, given that Jake Paul has recently announced that he will be joining the Professional Fighting League. This would represent Paul’s first move into mixed martial arts, and rumour has it that the YouTuber is eager to fight aging UFC star Nate Diaz as his first clash.