KSI returned to the ring inside a completely packed O2 Arena to resume his boxing career, facing a rapper and a fighter in the same night.
The YouTube sensation previously beat Logan Paul (in attendance) and has been open about this event being a stepping-stone to fighting his brother, Jake Paul. His two fights were staged at the start and the end of the card – which, if nothing else, made sure the seats were occupied for the duration.
The six fights in between KSI’s two varied in both skill and excitement, although the will to win was unquestionable. After all, a defeat doesn’t mean a setback in rankings or negotiating power – it means being turned into a meme by the baying crowd.
One fighter – Deen The Great – was so pleased with his impressive victory that he attempted a backflip à la Teofimo Lopez. The only difference being Deen The Great landed on his face.
There was a 29 second KO (Salt Papi), a controversial decision (FaZe Sensei vs King Kenny), and some snapshots of genuinely good boxing.
Michael Buffer provided all the grace and ceremony that he’s known for, and promoter Kalle Sauerland congratulated the fighters after results were announced. Chris Eubank Jr was on the mic in between fights – he’ll be appearing on the same platform soon. KSI entered (twice) to uproar and, whatever you think of the event, proved himself to be a legitimate draw.
His first opponent came in 19lbs heavier, but pundits and fans alike seemed to know that this wasn’t in any way an advantage. After all, he took the fight on two weeks’ notice. As the first bell rang, the lack of preparation and experience was stark.
Swarmz’ defense was to spin around the ring, something the referee had to warn him about on multiple occasions. If he hasn’t picked a nickname yet, The Tornado would fit nicely. KSI won the first round by a long way, and finished the job in the second.
Onto the professional, albeit relatively green, fighter. Luis Alcaraz Pineda (2-5) weighed in just 1lb less than KSI, making this match up, in theory, a much better gauge of the Brit’s boxing skills. That wasn’t to be the case.
The Mexican looked frightened, barely threw a punch, and used more energy speaking to the referee than boxing. All of that considered, the night ended with the only fighter that had professional experience being unanimously booed. KSI would’ve had a harder time against some of the undercard fighters. He stopped Pineda in the third and final round. It was, in short, an uncomfortable end to a fun event.
Post-fight, KSI called for a handful of fights including Tommy Fury and controversial internet personality, Andrew Tate. There’s absolutely no doubt that the fights would do huge numbers and trend worldwide. Judging by the turnout, the social media buzz and the boxing names who bought into the event, this branch of the sport is here to stay.
MF & DAZN: X Series is a collaboration between KSI’s Misfits Boxing and DAZN. This was the first event, streamed live on DAZN PPV at a price point of £11.99.
During the broadcast, the second event was announced for October 15 – a fight between would-be Jake Paul opponent and son of two-time world heavyweight champion, Hasim Rahman Jr, and Brazilian Mixed Martial Artist, Vitor Belfort.