KSI has defeated Logan Paul by judges' decision in their YouTube rematch. The judges scored the bout 55-56 57-54 56-55 in favor of the Brit who looked beat in the fourth round but managed to recover remarkably to win it on enemy soil.
After months of trash talking, both Paul, 24, and KSI, 26, made their professional boxing debuts at the Staples Center in LA, in a six-round cruiserweight contest.
Going into the fight, the most prominent difference between the two was the huge six-pound weight differential in favor of Paul. KSI weighed in at 193 lbs, but Paul was tipping the scales at 199 lbs.
First out was Logan Paul, who, despite being the hometown fighter, was welcomed by a chorus of boos throughout the Staples Center. Paul was dressed in a custom-made hoodie with the American flag, and his Maverick brand logo on his chest.
KSI entered the ring to Rick Ross, dressed in a red gown and a black and red mask - this was arguably the more subdued entrance of the two.
The first round saw KSI swinging wildly, but unable to connect with Paul, who maintained his cool throughout the three minutes and controlled the round.
The second round saw the pair trade blows fairly evenly, with Paul using his jab well to keep KSI at a comfortable distance. From the early rounds, it appeared that Paul is the better boxer technically, and that KSI was at risk of blowing himself out with far too many missed shots.
Things looked a lot more even in the third round, with KSI hitting more of his shots, which sent an evasive Paul stumbling to the mat twice.
An intense round four saw Paul land a clean one-two on KSI, followed by a clean uppercut that sent a dazed KSI down! The referee has scored a knockdown, but deducted two points because Paul hit KSI while he was down. KSI was forced to take a 30-second timeout to compose himself.
Round five was a feeling out process. KSI's confidence was clearly rocked from the uppercut in the previous round, and it seemed both men were saving everything for the final round.
In round six, neither man was able to hit that knock out blow, and but thanks to flurries of offense from KSI, Paul was outdone, and KSI earned a victory from the judges.
In KSI's corner was his trainer, the unbeaten cruiserweight Viddal Riley, and uncle and ex-trainer of former Floyd Mayweather, Jeff Mayweather.
In Logan's corner was the energetic former two-time heavyweight world champion Shannon Briggs, who is known for his catchphrase "Let's go, champ", who had been training the 24-year-old.
The personalities, who boast over 40 million subscribers between them, both became professional boxers in the lead up to the fight - each going through medicals and getting professional fighter's license, the BBC reports.
I think it's safe to say that the match of the night went to Brit Billy Joe Saunders, who retained his WBO super-middleweight title against Argentina's Marcelo Esteban Coceres with an 11th round K.O.
Saunders lept off his stool like a man possessed at the start of the 11th round, and proceeded to knock down Coceres three times before the referee stepped in to call the contest off.
Also on the undercard, Devin Haney defended his WBC lightweight title against Alfredo Santiago. Ever since Haney was able to knock Santiago off his feet in the fifth round, the reigning champ had his challenger scrambling for the bell in every subsequent round.
Amazingly, however, Santiago was able to survive the full 12 rounds, but there was just no doubt Haney was going to retain the belt by a unanimous decision - albeit, to the sound of jeers from the disappointed crowd.
In the post-match interview, Haney did mention that a dislocated shoulder prevented him from giving it his all: "I felt like I could have done better. In one of the rounds, I dislocated my right shoulder. But I was a true champion and carried on and got the win."
And finally, Nikita Ababiy took on Jonathan Batista in a four-round contest. However, this match lasted just one round when a dazed Batista was disqualified for lashing out at Ababiy following the round one bell. This match was a mess from the start.
In the build-up to their rematch, both the American Paul and the Brit KSI shared their preparations for the match:
Hours before the match, popstar Justing Bieber - who is no stranger to setting records on YouTube himself - revealed that he was backing Paul for the fight. Bieber told Sky Sports: “I don’t have any predictions but I hope that he wins.
"I don’t really know KSI and I guess I’m just a fan of Logan. It’s really cool I think it’s where it’s all going.”
But Brit KSI seemed incredibly patriotic prior to the fight, promising to win "for the UK":
Logan Paul even went as far as to reveal that his coaches forbid him from having sex: "My coaches forbid me from having sex before my fight. they said I need to “build my batch.” What’s a batch? Put quite simply, pent up ejaculate: my octane, if you will. Enough to sink a battleship."
Back in February 2018, KSI earned the crown of YouTube Boxing Champion after his victory against Joe Weller at London's Copper Box Arena. Following the match, KSI cut a promo, calling out the Paul family:
"If any YouTuber wants it, you can come get it. Jake Paul, Logan Paul, any of the Pauls, I don't care."
Their first boxing match took place on August 25, 2018, and ended in a majority draw, with the judges scoring the fight 57-58 in favor of KSI and the other two scoring it a 57-57, 57-57 draw.
The pair faced off in the sold-out Manchester Arena, charging fans in attendance roughly $100 for admission and $10 for viewers at home to stream. Per The Mirror, each took home half of an estimated $192 million (£150 million) purse, not including sponsorship deals.
As The Sun reports, over 800,000 accounts (believed to be 60 million people) streamed the fight through a YouTube pay-per-view service. It was billed as the "biggest event in internet history".
Following the fight, KSI took to Twitter to comment on the bout, saying that he should have won:
With two such huge personalities (egos), there was never any doubt this rematch was going to take place.