Logan Paul and KSI Are Boxing Again — and Everything is Bigger This Time
DAZN and Matchroom Boxing will be streaming the return bout between the YouTubers, which will take place in LA on November 9th
The first bout last year drew more than a million viewers to a paid live stream on YouTube and nearly 20,000 packed out out Manchester Arena — and KSI versus Logan Paul part two will take place in Los Angeles this November.
FFWD has learned that after 10 months of negotiations by Liam Chivers, founder of OP Talent, management for Olajide “KSI” Olatunji, a major global broadcast deal has been struck between representatives for Logan Paul, KSI, on-demand streaming service DAZN and Matchroom.
“It’s an incredible and ground breaking deal for the fighters and also DAZN,” says OP Talent’s Liam Chivers.
The fight is scheduled for November 9th in Los Angeles, at the STAPLES Center, a 21,000-seat arena.
The deal covers global rights, promotion, distribution and appearance commitments for the bout, with the broadcasters covering the costs of sanctioning and licensing the bout, holding press conferences, organizing travel without cost to the fighters — who funded the last fight with the support of sponsorship and income from the pay-per-view streaming revenue. According to the bout’s organizers, the production standard will be the same as any professional boxing or sporting event hosted by DAZN.
The fight is scheduled for November 9th in Los Angeles, with the event held at the STAPLES Center, a 21,000-seat arena and home to the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team.
The bout will last six rounds, with the fighters wearing 10-ounce gloves, and won’t involve headgear, unlike the bout in Manchester Arena — a consequence of both men being licensed by the California State Athletic Commission.
Plans have been pencilled in for weeks. The agreement with DAZN and Matchroom has been in place since August 9th, with Matchroom waiting until the NBA 2019/20 season schedule was released on August 8th to confirm the STAPLES Center’s availability.
Tickets for the bout will go on sale shortly, says Chivers, who singlehandedly negotiated the deal over the course of nearly a year following the last bout in the UK.
“A no-risk, high budget, secure platform deal had to be achieved,” he explains. “I wasn’t going to leave Logan’s team to try and arrange production or us risk broadcast on an unstable platform and have [the] cost and piracy risk put on KSI, so spending 10 months working to get the broadcaster and rights terms in place first was essential.” The last bout between the two was blighted by pirated streams, many of which were hosted on Twitch.
DAZN is a London-based video subscription service that aims to be the “Netflix of sport”.
“DAZN also brings a top-class live sporting event production to subscribers of their service, which is part and parcel of the deal. This is a major step up and mainstream crossover — a significant deal on many levels,” says Chivers.
The company has proven willing to spend vast amounts on boxing rights, paying $1 billion for the right to stream 16 events over the course of eight years in association with Matchroom Boxing.
Matchroom is a company owned by famous British boxing promoter Eddie Hearn.
Hearn has previously downplayed the notion of YouTube boxing, telling The Boxing Voice: “For me I can’t stand it. It makes my skin crawl but as a business I think it’s genius. [KSI is] good as a white collar fighter, he’s decent and I like what he does. The guy’s a genius at the end of the day and I respect him massively, but just as a fight fan it’s not for me.”
The first bout between KSI and Logan Paul was a mammoth spectacle, with more than £250,000 ($300,000) of bets taken on the outcome of the fight, and fans jetting in from around the world to watch the competition.