‘YouTube boxers saved boxing, UFC was kicking our butt’


It’s no secret that boxing’s popularity has been on the decline for years for multiple reasons. The inability to put together big fights, poor marketing, and the emergence of mixed martial arts were all factors.

As interest in boxing declined, social media networks and online video platforms became a part of everyday life. According to former undisputed heavyweight champion Mike Tyson, it was those platforms that saved a dying sport.

“My ego says so many things, but my reality says this, they helped boxing so much. Boxing owes these guys some kind of… they owe these YouTube boxers some kind of respect.

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“They should give these guys some belts because these guys make boxing alive,” Tyson said during the post-fight press conference following his exhibition bout against former four-division world champion Roy Jones Jr. on Saturday.

On the fight card, boxer, actor, and YouTube personality Jake Paul scored a second-round knockout win over former NBA player Nate Robinson. Paul’s YouTube channel has 20.2 million subscribers. Tyson credited Paul as one of the “YouTube boxers” that helped the boxing return to popular culture.

“Boxing was pretty much a dying sport. The UFC was kicking our butt,” Tyson said. “Boxing is going back thanks to the YouTube boxers.”

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