How Misfits Boxing (MF & DAZN X Series) destroyed the business of celebrity & influencer boxing matches 🥊

I love boxing. & guess what? I also love celebrity boxing matches.

Whilst traditional boxing is a sport, celebrity boxing matches are brawls. Each fighter carelessly swinging at one another until they burn through all of their energy & either quit, or sluggishly stumble around until the final bell rings.

The first notable fight in the celebrity boxing space was Joe Weller vs KSI, which gained attention outside due to it selling out a well-known boxing venue & generated over 1 million PPV buys. The commercial success of this event resulted in a huge increase of interest & production quality.

Whilst I could write a book about the history of celebrity boxing, the organisations that have been created, & the characters within the space; for this article I’m going to focus on Misfits Boxing, which is owned by KSI.

Misfits Boxing is a celebrity boxing promotional company, & partners with the boxing streaming service DAZN to broadcast their “X Series” boxing show.

X Series was initially met with praise, as it seemed like a one-stop-shop for all things celebrity boxing. A safe environment with a good production value, which also acts as a gateway to the sport of boxing as a whole. X Series also initially hired many of those originally involved in the early KSI events & who helped grow the industry, with these individuals offering commentary or presenting the show.

However, the perception has since changed.

This past weekend, X Series 007 happened. None of those original founding individuals I previously mentioned were involved. In fact, with the exception of KSI & his brother, the lineup was unrecognisable if you hadn’t followed X Series up until now.

X Series now even has professional boxers & MMA fighters. There are celebrities & influencers (TikTok & OnlyFans models), however these individuals are now more famous for their boxing than their original career. Boxing has become most of these influencers/celebrities focus. At this point they’re just professional boxers without the boxing ability.

It appears that KSI’s talent manager Mams Taylor is the brains behind the new X Series direction. His presence has grown in X Series in recent events. If I didn’t know any better, I’d think he was the divorced dad of one of X Series’ fighters. Awkwardly trying to insert himself into his son’s friend group, buying rounds of pints to cling onto whatever social relevance he can grasp before retiring back to his studio apartment alone.

It’s unclear what Mams Taylor actually does. He walks like Eddie Hearn without any of the bravado, he talks to the press like he’s Dana White without the bank account, & he has the self importance of Tyson Fury without the following.

Congrats to KSI for trusting such a… Interesting fella.

If we’re looking for notable YouTubers in X Series 007, the only individual that is recognisable is a man called Boogie2988. Notable because this is a morbidly obese YouTuber. It could be argued that him being involved in a boxing match is extremely dangerous due to his physique, & the promoters are lucky he didn’t have a heart attack.

Whilst X Series was promoted as a celebrity boxing show, it’s turned into a unentertaining dramatised show. It’s the WWE without the budget. It’s a carnival without the spectacle. It’s an embarrassment.

Need further evidence of this? Take a look at their fighter Luis Pineda. Luis was originally brought onto X Series as a journeyman boxer for KSI to beat, but has since been a returning joke of the show. Outside of X Series he’s a nobody, within it he’s the funny Mexican fighter with a redemption arch.

The longer the show goes on, the more characters that are brought on. Many of which have no real celebrity status. Their commenters often consists of the fighters within X Series, & they’re about as good at commentary as you would expect talentless boxers to be.

X Series has even gone beyond the rules of boxing, creating the abomination which is their tag team boxing match format.

Additionally, none of its boxing matches are actually professional bouts, all being exhibition fights. They could all be staged (nobody knows for certain) & it would be legal.

Despite the quality falling, the price of X Series continue to rise. 007 was £19.99, plus requiring a DAZN subscription. If you wanted to just tune in for KSI’s latest fight, it would cost you a whopping £39.98.

Whilst KSI’s fights continue to do reasonable PPV numbers (generally between 200,000 & 350,000), I’m interested to see how this latest event did. The reported figure is 300,000 PPV buys, but I find that hard to believe.

The blending of staged drama (WWE style) & real boxing has muddied the X Series experience. The drama previously felt real because the celebrities went into boxing to settle personal beefs (or just because it looked fun). We got to peak behind the curtain at these celebrities’ lives outside of their social media content. Now, we have fights announced for X Series & the drama is created during the build up. Except when you have 6 fights in one night all trying to fake bad blood, it loses its appeal.

KSI, just fight Tommy Fury or Jake Paul & officially walk away from X Series. It’s clearly somewhat popular, so feel free to keep it going, but let’s stop pretending this is anything but a cash grab.

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