All things considered, the bout went surprisingly well.
By Max Warren at ringside
In a battle for internet bragging rights in front of 15,000 fans at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA, an odd boxing match between two interesting entertainers, KSI and Logan Paul, transpired. The fight was competitive throughout, and both men showed a warrior’s spirit despite very little boxing experience. They weren’t exactly master technicians, and their pro-boxing careers should not transcend their level of competition. KSI and Logan Paul deserve full respect for stepping in the ring and training their hardest. In their performances, they showed competitive fire and resilience. All things considered, the bout went surprisingly well.
Paul fired shots as a typical boxer would, while KSI threw several wild and wide punches in his attempt to strike the man with the longer reach. The first two rounds were close. Paul fired his jab often, and KSI tried going to the body. KSI threw looping punches in order to nullify his reach disadvantage. Paul primarily threw punches down the middle, jabs and straight rights.
In the 3rd, the action began heating up. KSI weathered the storm, and Paul began to tire. According to Paul, he was sick going into the fight and he believes it negatively affected his performance. As Paul was ducking and backing into the ropes, KSI landed a right hook to the side of Paul’s head. The hook caused Paul’s knee to hit the canvas, but referee Jack Reiss ruled it a slip. Despite the ruling, replays indicated that KSI should have been awarded a knockdown. The 3rd round wasn’t the only controversial round of the fight; the 4th round raised even more questions.
In the 4th, Paul landed an uppercut that stunned KSI. The blow caused KSI to lower his head. Paul followed up the punch with another uppercut while he held the back of KSI’s head. KSI sunk to the canvas, and on the way down, Paul landed a straight right to the back of KSI’s head. The two fouls from Paul, hitting while holding and throwing to the back of KSI’s head, prompted Reiss to deduct two points. But, Reiss awarded Paul two points for the knockdown. KSI was given time to recover after he hit the canvas. He took approximately two minutes to stand in his corner. For the rest of the round, KSI retreated and survived.
For the final two rounds, KSI swung wildly and Paul appeared fatigued. In the 5th, KSI seemed fazed from the prior round and was a little more tentative than at the beginning of the fight. Paul won the fifth with his jab. With the two-point deduction from Paul, the fight appeared up for grabs in the 6th. Paul was not dominant enough earlier in the fight for the two-point deduction to not come in handy for KSI. In the final round, KSI was more active and forced the action with his wide looping shots to the head and body. Paul threw the jab when he could, and had spots of success with that particular punch in the final stanza. The final bell rang, and the fight was a toss up. The rounds were relatively close and difficult to score, since the action didn’t replicate your typical pro boxing match.
KSI landed 56 of 264 punches and Paul landed 61 of 220. The punch stats were an indication of a pretty even fight. Ring announcer Michael Buffer read the score totals. One judge scored it 56-55 for Paul, and the next two cards were in favor of KSI, reading 57-54 and 56-55. The two-point deduction ultimately altered the fight. If the deduction didn’t take effect, Paul would have won.
After the fight, the two internet sensations quashed their beef. KSI was asked if he would be interested in a third fight. He said, “It is done. I’m on to the next thing.” But, money can change decisions and there will certainly be a lot of that offered for KSI and Logan Paul if they meet in the ring once again. Despite feeling he should have won the fight and thinking the two-point deduction wasn’t warranted, Paul was gracious in defeat. He told KSI, “You are one of the toughest people I know. You deserve everything you have earned. I don’t like being a dick to you. It was all to sell.” No matter who it is with, boxing makes men respect one another. The sport has resolved personal differences and feuds for centuries, and one more beef was resolved between KSI and Logan Paul.
The two YouTubers took hard hits to the skull, and toiled through a difficult fight. Despite not being world-class fighters, they deserve full respect for stepping through the ropes and giving the fans their all. They dealt with adversity and pain, and still fought hard until the final bell. Their fortitude was admirable.