KSI and Jake Paul react to new PPV figures and now want to ‘break the internet’

KSI has hit back after it was reported that his boxing return failed to surpass Jake Paul’s pay-per-view rates for his bout with Ben Askren or Tyron Woodley as the American cemented his claim to the celebrity boxing throne.

According to Mirror Fighting, KSI’s return to the ring drew around 230,000 PPV purchases on DAZN in the UK, Ireland and United States. The YouTube star and musician last fought almost three years ago before he fought twice in one night in front of a sold-out O2 Arena last month.

It was the first time the venue was packed for a boxing event since Josh Taylor defeated Regis Prograis in 2019 to unify the light-welterweight division. However, DAZN’s PPV setup could have caused issues for fans hoping to watch the bout as the service chose to implement a ‘double paywall’.

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It meant fans from KSI’s chief markets – including his native UK – had to subscribe to DAZN for at least a month as well as paying £12 on top to watch the fight. Fans outside the UK, Ireland and US were able to watch the fight as part of their standard monthly subscription – and viewership numbers are unknown in such territories.

The fighter himself though has hit out at the report, claiming the numbers are false and fans should wait to hear the official PPV figures from either himself, his manager or DAZN. He tweeted: "In terms of PPV numbers or any figures from OUR event, wait on DAZN or me or my manager to tell you the truth. Anyone else who talks/tweets about it is literally just trying to get a headline."

Do you think KSI would defeat Jake Paul in a potential contest? Let us know in the comments section.

Paul also addressed the claim on social media, congratulating KSI and his team on the reported numbers – regardless of whether they were accurate or not. The American wrote: "Bulls**t aside, the PPV business ain’t easy. Congrats to KSI and his boxing company. Those are great numbers. The day we finally settle this, it will break the internet and do some big PPV numbers on Showtime. I’m ready as soon as he feels he is."

The Englishman was quick to react to Paul, claiming that his bout did in fact eclipse the numbers that Paul recently did. KSI replied: "Yeah this is cap. I can literally see your numbers and ours. We beat your last fight by a HUGE amount ppv wise. Even with your team trying hard to sabotage the event and me having to fight 2 randoms last minute. We are not the same."

The reported numbers of 230,000 means KSI’s anticipated boxing return failed to top Paul’s numbers when he beat UFC stars Askren and Woodley, which each attracted over 500,000 buys. KSI’s bout was affected by a number of controversies and disruptions, as Alex Wassabi – a YouTube star with 15 million followers – pulled out due to a concussion.

KSI turned to fellow rapper Swarmz, which frustrated fans due to the opponent’s lack of boxing experience. As a result, the Brit decided to promote a ‘two fights in one night’ experience, bringing in a professional boxer to fight him after he saw off Swarmz.

Original opponent Ivan Nikolov was forced to pull out of the fight. He held a 3-17-2 record, so new opponent Luis Pineda was brought in with just a few days notice.

However, Pineda struggled to stay on his feet in what was ultimately deemed a particularly embarrassing main event. The undercard hardly fared better, as rapper Blueface – a successful rapper from the US – was forced out of his clash with Thomas ‘Faze Temperrr’ Oliveira and replaced by YouTuber Slim Albaher, who knocked his opponent out within two rounds.

The issues experienced by KSI was shared by Paul when he faced Woodley in December 2021. The controversial content creator was initially scheduled to face Tommy Fury, billing the clash as his first test against a ‘legitimate’ boxer.

However, Fury was injured and pulled out just two weeks from the fight so Woodley stood in. The former UFC welterweight champion was brought in for a rematch, and it was underwhelming.

KSI’s boxing return did outperform other YouTube boxing events this year: Showstar Boxing – where Wassabi faced the Brit’s younger brother Deji – drew over 100,000 PPV buys, as did IDubbbz’s bout with Dr Mike at the Creator Clash.


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