YouTube celebrity KSI is set to face British entrepreneur and undefeated (9-0) boxer, Joe Fournier, in London, England, on May 13, 2023. Unsurprisingly, his boxing influencer rival, Jake Paul, isn’t impressed with his choice of opponents.
The KSI vs. Fournier fight was announced earlier this week, and both participants couldn’t keep Paul’s name out of their mouths.
“I can’t wait to show the world what Jake Paul couldn’t, knockout a pro boxer,” KSI said.
“This is way too soon to fight me, but the deal is done,” Fournier declared. “And just like Jake Paul, he will find out that when he gets into the ring with a real boxer, it’s a whole different ball game. He is in for a rude awakening.”
KSI went so far as to say he’d claim the title of “Best YouTube Boxer” with a win over Fournier. That prompted a response from “The Problem Child” over Twitter.
“Hahaha. I’m your idol,” Paul wrote. “So when you beat a guy whose last pro fight was over two years ago against a reggaeton singer that had never boxed in his life, you are the pound for pound best?! Or is because his fight before that was 6 years ago against a 1-11 ‘boxer’? Sham.”
Hahaha. I’m your idol.— Jake Paul (@jakepaul) March 23, 2023
So when you beat a guy whose last pro fight was over two years ago against a reggaeton singer that had never boxed in his life, you are the pound for pound best?!
Or is because his fight before that was 6 years ago against a 1-11 “boxer”? Sham. https://t.co/YG5V4RqLuA
Paul isn’t wrong regarding Fournier’s thin resume. His opponents had a combined record of 29-116, with 25 of those wins being split across two fighters. Fournier’s professional boxing career has been described as a marketing stunt to brand himself as, “The Boxing Billionaire.”
Interestingly enough, Paul helped Fournier cement that reputation. The fight against the aforementioned Reggaeton singer, Reykon, that Paul is referencing? It went down on the undercard of Paul’s against Ben Askren in 2021.
Fournier has had one “fight” since then: an exhibition against former champion David Haye on the undercard of the ethically questionable Evander Hoyfield vs. Vitor Belfort-led event in Sept. 2021. Haye and Fournier are long-time friends and the bout was a glorified sparring match. Even then, Haye still accidentally knocked down his buddy in the first round with a jab.
As for KSI (real name Olajide William Olatunji), he’s undefeated (4-0) as a “professional” and coming off a knockout win over eSports influencer, FaZe Temperrr, in Jan. 2023. While the opposition was nothing to write home about, the knockout itself made for a solid five-second highlight. Fournier is a big step up in competition for KSI, whose boxing career continues to look more like a publicity stunt for his other ventures than an attempt to claw his way up to legitimacy.
Paul, meanwhile, is coming off a split decision loss to Tommy Fury, which dropped his record to 7-1 (watch highlights). Fury was the first legitimate boxer to face Paul, and he used his lifetime of training to put “Problem Child” on the end of his lengthy jab and frustrate the YouTuber with his superior movement. While a Paul vs. KSI fight seems inevitable, it won’t happen until “The Problem Child” rematches Fury.
“I think I gotta go get this one back,” Paul said immediately after the loss. “And KSI has yet to fight a real opponent so we don’t even know his actual skill level. Obviously that’s still a massive fight. But, I’m going to go back for this rematch.”
KSI and Fournier will face off at MF & DAZN: X Series 007 on May 13, 2023. There’s no word yet on if the card will also feature tag-team boxing as well.