There are more than a few reasons why boxing has lost so much ground. For one, it’s a bureaucratic nightmare: There are a wide range of weight classes and multiple governing bodies, all with their own titles for each class. In sports like baseball, football, hockey, and basketball, athletes compete for one trophy. In boxing, title belts get passed out like finger food at a cocktail party, which is confusing for fans. And with different promotional companies in charge of arranging bouts, the fights that fans actually want to see don’t always happen.
“Boxing keeps shooting itself in the foot by doing shit like that,” says Kelly.
Add in issues like steep pay-per-view prices and poor judging, and it can send boxing spiraling into a downward trend.
Into this void steps Logan Paul—who has a plan to make boxing relevant again, along with his brother, Jake, who’s also transitioned from social media star to pro boxer.
“I think boxing’s biggest problem has been solved ever since my brother and I entered the sport,” Paul says.
In his view, boxing faces two big conundrums: a lack of showmanship and a lack of reach. Most fighters don’t promote themselves and reach out to fans online, he says, and they don’t have enough personality in and out of the ring. When other content is always a swipe or a tap away, boxing just isn’t interesting enough to break into the mainstream. Having built their careers by racking up views and likes on the internet, that’s not a problem for Paul or his brother.
“Jake and I lead with entertainment,” he says, “because we were content creators first, that’s what we’ve mastered.”