KSI sees an opportunity to become the top name in influencer boxing.
Following YouTube star Jake Paul’s first pro loss this past February, a split decision loss to boxer and reality television star Tommy Fury, KSI lambasted his rival in a short Twitter clip.
KSI has his own test around the corner as he boxes the more experienced Joe Fournier on May 13 at Misfits Boxing 7, and he acknowledged that the spotlight will be shining extra brightly on him on fight night after taunting Paul.
“When it comes to Jake Paul, obviously I just don’t like the guy, so when he lost you saw me make a video laughing at him, etc., but I know there’s a lot of pressure on me now,” KSI said at a Misfits Boxing press conference Thursday. “I put the pressure on myself, especially doing something like that, there’s going to be a lot of eyes watching. People who love me, hate me, are going to be watching to see if the same outcome happens. And I want to be the person to make sure it doesn’t.
“People forget I’m a YouTuber that just fell in love with boxing and just worked and worked and worked on my craft and now I’m here fighting a 9-0 pro. It’s pretty mad how my life has just come together like this, but I truly do believe in myself. I have this dog in me that really just doesn’t want to lose and even if I’m on the back foot, even if I’m getting pieced up, I’m going to find something within me to keep going and I will go down on my shield. I’m not a guy that is going to just play around and be like, ‘Maybe I’ve lost, but I’ll just make sure I don’t get knocked out.’ No, I don’t care about getting knocked out.”
KSI has had an eventful start to his boxing career so far, twice boxing Paul’s brother Logan Paul — their first amateur bout ended in a draw and KSI scored a split nod over him in their pro rematch — and then winning a trio of exhibition bouts by knockout. Fournier, 9-0 as a pro, is KSI’s most seasoned competition yet.
Paul faced a similar challenge when he fought Fury after a run of success against past-their-prime MMA stars. Seeing Paul lose, KSI believes he can avoid hitting the same snag.
“I think reality kind of settled in,” KSI said. “I think there was a lot of hype when it came to Jake Paul and then when he got pieced up by Tommy Fury, everyone realized, OK, Jake actually ain’t that good. So with me let’s see how good KSI is. Let’s see if he’s the person that always talks the talk and walks the walk, let’s see what he can really do in this situation. Can he really stand with the big boys? I truly believe I can.”
Famous for his entrepreneurial efforts, Fournier resumed his boxing career in April 2021 with a win over reggaeton Reykon and then followed that with a decision loss in an exhibition bout to friend and coach David Haye. He’s unquestionably a more seasoned fighter than KSI, a fact that isn’t deterring the YouTuber from anticipating victory.
“He’s probably the better boxer, but I have a lot of freakish traits that really make me stand out,” KSI said. “For me, it’s my explosiveness, it’s my power. I’m a very fast, explosive guy and when I hit people they stay hit and they feel it. Especially in 10-ounce gloves, I’m a problem. In sparring, I’m using 20-ounce gloves and still doing a lot of damage. I’m getting my timing right, I’m getting my timing perfect, my sparring is just really improving, and I’m fighting in sparring against really tough opponents and I’m pushing myself to the brink. … I’m a fighter, I’m always going to keep fighting, and I’m always going to want to try and prove people wrong.
“A lot of people think I’m going to get slept, a lot of people think I’m going to lose, a lot of people think I’m out of my depth, a lot of people believe that I have no place to be fighting a 9-0 pro. But I’m KSI, I want to be the man that shows the world that if you put your mind to something you can really get and do anything you want in this world, in this life.”
Watch the Misfits Boxing 7 press conference below.