Logan Paul vs KSI Pre-Boxing Match Press Conference: Everything That Went Down
18 July 2018, 19:56
In just a few short week's four of the world's biggest YouTubers will fight in what are likely to become the most-watched amateur boxing matches of all time. In Manchester, on August 25th, Logan Paul and KSI will meet in the ring, while their younger brothers Jake Paul and Deji Olutunji face off in a boxing match of their own. In preparation for the big night, today the four brothers came to London's Bethnal Green for a pre-fight press conference. Here's what went down.
What happened at the Logan Paul vs. KSI press conference
I arrived at York Hall, a historic boxing venue and East London landmark, at around 4pm. Despite there being a full hour until the press conference was due to start, fans had already snaked their way around the building. Inside, 50 or so fans clung to the barrier between the audience and press pit, in anticipation of the hoards that were soon to follow. By 4:30pm, the 1000-capacity venue was packed.
A handful of YouTubers who had come to watch the press conference floated in and out of the main space, screams from the audience rising and fallings as they went in and out of site. Chants of "f*ck Jake Paul" erupted spontaneously, lasting for a few seconds before reverting back to screams as another YouTuber wandered in and distracted everyone.
After holding mini press conferences for smaller YouTubers - and a short halt in proceedings owing to Jake Paul being busy "getting a haircut," podcaster and MC for the afternoon, True George (real name Brian Davis), introduced Jake Paul to the stage. The familiar chants swelled, and Jake seemed to lap up the negative attention, even joining in with the crowd at times. Deji, conversely, was met with huge cheers.
Between the braying crowd and Jake's tardiness, there wasn't much time or space for any meaningful conversation. Deji proclaimed that he will "destroy" Jake, while Jake ridiculed Deji, claiming that nobody, not his fans and not even his own older sibling, believed he could win. Questions were lost to the din of the crowd, who were far more interested in letting Jake know he wasn't welcome than hearing what he had to say.
Before going their separate ways, Jake and Deji took part in the traditional boxing press conference face-off, which remained remarkably violence free - although I can't help but think the considerable drop at the edge of the stage, and lack of safety barriers to stop either tumbling off, helped cool tempers. While fans were clearly excited to see the pair go at it, between the empty machismo, ostentatious fashion and uncreative trash-talk, Jake and Deji face-off was sadly both a hot mess and a damp squib.
After a few minutes of waiting, Logan Paul arrived on stage, meeting with similar boos but responding far more calmly than his younger brother. After six months of controversy, Logan appeared to be leaning into a more respectable side of his personality. There was no clapping back at the crowd; just a man, on a stage, looking like he really wanted to get this over with.
KSI couldn't have entered more differently. Arriving wearing a blond, Logan Paul-style wig and a ginormous smirk on his face, the YouTuber lapped up rapturous applause from the audience.
At this point, the crowd took over. Screams of "fuck Logan Paul" and "fuck the Pauls" soon descended into disturbing sexist chants aimed at Logan Paul's new girlfriend, Chloe Bennet. Logan may be a divisive figure who has offended many in his career, but calling Chloe a "slut" or "bitch," as many audience members did, was disgusting. In many ways, I don't blame Logan for walking off at this point, bringing the press conference to a sudden end in the process. A line has to be drawn somewhere, and hundred of teenagers humiliating you via insults targeted at your girlfriend should probably be that line.
Ksi, Logan Paul, Jake Paul and Deji all meet in the ring on August 25th in Manchester, UK.