Boxing

KSI vs Paul 2: Main Event or Walk Out Bout (Briggs Says It’s ‘Let’s Go Champ’ Worthy)

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YouTubers KSI and Logan Paul enter the ring Saturday, November 9 to settle their differences at Staples Center in Los Angeles. The rematch is the main event of a card slated to stream live on DAZN. The bout is the debut for both fighters. The most credible boxing tie-in might be Paul’s trainer, former two-time heavyweight champion Shannon Briggs.

November 7, 2019; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Shannon Briggs speaks at the final press conference for the KSI vs Logan Paul fight card at TAO in Hollywood. The Matchroom Boxing USA card takes place on Saturday at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing USA

While many boxing die hard fans loathe the bout’s existence, Briggs is all in. He said as much on his recent interview on the podcast SI Boxing with Chris Mannix.

After a host of questions about his career host Chris Mannix asked Briggs for his sales pitch to boxing purists. Briggs got to the point with KSI vs Paul 2 detractors, ” You don’t know what you talking about.”

“Let me explain to you guys, this is phenomenal. This is great. We are about to introduce millions of new fans, this is what boxing needed. This is what boxing needs.

People always crying about, ‘Oh, UFC is better than boxing’, or ‘We losing fans and blah blah blah MMA.’

We ain’t losing fans. People who love MMA love boxing, and vice versa. The old dinosaurs not necessarily, but it’s no competition, it’s all contact sport – it’s all MMA.

With this fight happening, you got millions of kids who be on they phone all day. They be on YouTube, they don’t care about boxing, they never watch boxing, never was gonna watch boxing.

But guess what now, they tuning in Saturday, and forever now they will have known boxing. They might become boxers, judges, managers, promoters, fans… “

If Briggs embraces the bout, then let’s all shout “Let’s go champ!” in unison with the former champ.

Look, this writer doesn’t even know KSI or Paul! Or have any interest in analyzing how the two will look with gloves and no headgear. If neither of the cruiserweights turns his back to the other for the six rounds, that feat deserves high praise.

Fortunately, the card also features regular boxers, including world champions Billy Joe Saunders and Devin Haney, as well as prospects Nakita Ababiy, Reshat Mati and Diego Pacheco. For Briggs’ sake, hopefully Haney and Ababiy – both younger fighters who are mindful of their growing social media presences – put on performances that garner future interest for the fans that show up and tune it for KSI vs Paul – their main event.

The whole play is an interesting move hatched by Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn. But DAZN is a disruptor among the sports broadcasting industry, and it descended upon America boasting that its content didn’t have the same constraints as its linear TV competitors. Tomorrow we get to see just how far they can push the limits. DAZN also exists outside the domain of Neilsen ratings, so we’ll only hear about if it succeeds.

This writer is as tolerable a boxing fan as one might find. But, after last week’s Canelo-Kovalev 1:18 am ET start, after watching lightweight Haney make his first WBC title defense it’ll be “Let’s Go Champ!” time. It ain’t hard to find that KSI vs Paul thumbnail on-demand.

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