While "crossover boxing" events featuring social media influencers have drawn plenty of criticism as they've increased in frequency over the past few years, that they draw loads of attention from the general public is beyond dispute. That will continue on Saturday, with a Misfits Boxing card headlined by the double main event of Tommy Fury vs. KSI and Logan Paul vs. Dillon Danis.
The fight had some tense moments during the week as the final press conference nearly derailed Paul vs. Danis. When the two were supposed to square off for photos, Paul threw a water bottle at Danis, who retaliated by thumping his microphone on Paul's head before the two were quickly separated. Paul appeared to suffer a cut in the fracas, but he assured fans on social media that the fight would still go on as planned.
Those two fights feature names that are known even outside the younger generation that closely follows social media accounts, but that same knowledge is not there for other fighters on the card. In reality, names like "My Mate Nate" and "Deen The Great" are likely headache-inducing for the traditional boxing audience.
In the interest of finding out who is on the card -- and why anyone would care -- let's take a dive into the full card, taking an extended look at the double main event and quick glances at the other main card fights.
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KSI vs. Fury viewing information
- Date: Oct. 14 | Start time: 2 p.m. ET (main events around 5 p.m. ET)
- Location: Manchester Arena -- Manchester, England
- How to watch: DAZN PPV ($54.99)
Tommy Fury vs. KSI
Fury is the one "true boxer" on the card, though his bona fides are questionable, at best. Sporting a 9-0 professional record, Fury's best win -- by a country mile -- is over Jake Paul. The fight with Paul came by narrow split decision in a fight where Fury suffered a knockdown. Regardless, as the half-brother of WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, Tommy Fury comes from a boxing family and has trained for much of his life.
Fury also has been on reality television, finishing as runner-up on the fifth season of the UK's "Love Island." Realistically, Fury's upside as a professional boxer is low. He hasn't displayed great skill against low-tier opposition. But he's handsome and can play the promotional game well, which makes him a good fit in the world of crossover events. A win against KSI likely leads Fury into a rematch with Paul because it's the biggest money fight for him and it's unlikely he takes on a ranked contender, even in a thin cruiserweight division. That doesn't mean Fury lacks the ability to have a successful boxing career if you are focusing on the "prize" part of the word "prizefighter."
"I'm going to solely concentrate on Saturday night, get a great performance God willing and then we'll get around the table and see what's next. I'm sure if Logan Paul wants it, he can definitely have it, 100 percent," Fury said in an interview with British outlet The Sun.
"I don't really care about these guys, any one of them, whoever wants it at that time, whoever puts up the best offer is gonna have the fight, aren't they? It doesn't matter to me who I fight, especially not with these guys."
KSI has been one of the primary cogs in the crossover boxing machine. In fact, without KSI vs. Logan Paul in both their amateur bout in 2018 and their professional clash in 2019, the influencer boxing movement likely doesn't happen -- at least not at the level it has reached.
KSI became a popular YouTuber beginning with video game content, and eventually expanding into more vlog-based content featuring challenges and pranks as well as launching a music career while being rated as Britain's biggest influencer. Like many young influencers who come into great wealth, KSI also has found himself at the center of controversy, having been called out for transphobic and racist language at various times in his career.
As a fighter, KSI has only one true professional bout, that being the clash with Paul. His other fights are defined as "Misfits professional bouts" as they were not overseen by the British Boxing Board of Control. In those fights, KSI knocked out rapper Swarmz and low-skilled pro boxer Luis Alcaraz Pineda on the same night. He also knocked out FaZe Temperrr and Joe Fournier, though the latter was overturned due to the deciding shot coming from a KSI elbow. He has solid power but technique and level of opposition are what they are.
Prediction: Tommy Fury via UD
Logan Paul vs. Dillon Danis
As covered above, Paul was an early force in the influencer boxing market with his two fights with KSI. Beyond that, Paul has only had one fight, a June 2021 exhibition with Floyd Mayweather Jr. In that fight, Mayweather dragged Paul through eight rounds, never really looking to get a finish but controlling every bit of the action.
Paul -- along with his brother -- achieved early popularity on Vine, turning their social media presence into full careers. The Paul story is well known, with immense popularity surrounded by controversy over various missteps, from a vlog in which he showed a dead body in a Japanese "suicide" forest to his involvement in a cryptocurrency scam.
Danis comes from a grappling background that he turned into a hyped entry into Bellator MMA. In his first pro MMA bout for Bellator, Danis defeated Kyle Walker, who entered the 2018 fight with a 2-4 record and on a three-fight losing skid. Danis won the fight via toe hold in the first round. Walker has not fought since. Danis then fought 3-2 Max Humphrey, again picking up a first-round submission over a man who would not fight again after the bout.
Danis and Logan Paul have engaged in a heated build to their fight, with Danis targeting Paul's fiancee to the point of being hit with a restraining order. At the final press conference for the fight, Paul tossed a microphone at Danis' midsection, leading Danis to strike Paul on the head with his own mic.
Prediction: Logan Paul via TKO4
Salt Papi vs. Slim Albaher
Strange as it may be, Salt Papi had multiple professional boxers suggest he turn pro after winning three influencer bouts. A popular TikTok personality who rose to prominence with his "Fake Run" videos, Papi quickly took to boxing, establishing himself as one of the better influencer boxers. In May, Papi lost to professional fighter Anthony Taylor, who has clung on to the influencer movement. Papi responded by transforming his body, dropping more than 60 pounds as he now faces Albaher for the vacant Misfits middleweight belt.
Albaher is similar to Papi in that he has been successful in the influencer boxing space. He has, in fact, not yet suffered a defeat. He has not drawn the same level of praise as Papi, but has won three of his five fights by stoppage. Albaher has seemingly stopped his YouTube career's previous focus on vlogs and skits and now nearly exclusively posts content about his boxing career. He previously trained under former WBO junior middleweight champion Sadam Ali before switching to world-renowned trainer Andre Rozier.
Prediction: Salt Papi via TKO3
Deen the Great vs. Walid Sharks
This fight is a rematch of a 2022 fight that saw Deen knock out Sharks in the third round. A trio of victories for Sharks earned him a rematch, this time with Deen's Misfits lightweight title on the line. Like basically everyone on the card, both men have hundreds of thousands of followers on social media, building followings with years of content.
Where things take an odd turn with Deen and Sharks is not that they've fought once before, but that they fought side-by-side on a "Misfits tag team boxing match" over the summer only to brawl after picking up the win.
Prediction: Deen the Great via UD
King Kenny vs. Anthony Taylor
Kenny became popular on YouTube for prank videos such as "Kid Spends $1000 on brother's credit card to buy fidget spinners **PRANK!** (BACKFIRES)." To those of us of a certain age, it may seem odd that this is something someone could become famous for, yet that particular video currently sits at 10.8 million views on YouTube. He holds a 4-2 record in the influencer boxing space, most recently winning two fights in one night to win the Kingpyn High Stakes Tournament.
Taylor has a background in MMA, fighting in promotions such as Bellator MMA and Combate before transitioning to boxing where he has latched on to the crossover craze. Taylor lost to Tommy Fury on the undercard of Jake Paul vs. Tyron Woodley and has gone 4-3 across exhibition and professional boxing fights since, most recently taking a clear decision over Salt Papi.
Kenny vs. Taylor is for the Misfits light heavyweight title.
Prediction: Anthony Taylor via UD
Whindersson Nunes vs. My Mate Nate
Nunes is a Brazilian YouTuber who has more than 44 million subscribers. He has ranked among the most influential social media personalities in the world for years, with some videos drawing upwards of nearly 80 million views. Nunes also participated in the Kingpyn High Stakes Tournament, losing to King Kenny in the finals.
Nate primarily creates prank content on YouTube and has found himself in legal trouble in Thailand on multiple occasions, including for a video in which he attempted to flatten coins on railroad tracks and for a video in which he allegedly hired 50 Thai police officers for his "50 Cops Hunt Me Down!" video. Nate was also accused of animal cruelty for a video in which he filmed his cat fighting a scorpion. He has stepped in the ring just once outside of white-collar amateur fights, losing to King Kenny by knockout in the opening round of the Kingpyn tournament.
Prediction: Whinderson Nunes via TKO2