Celebrity bouts are nothing new in the world of combat sports. YouTube personalities KSI and Logan Paul have already clashed once inside a boxing ring under amateur rules, but will do battle again without the headgear on the night of November 9 in the Staples Center in Downtown Los Angeles.
The LA venue has hosted all sorts of sporting events, from NBA Finals, UFC and WWE pay-per-views, and even the NHL’s Stanley Cup. With an undercard featuring real pro boxers like Billy Joe Saunders, these vloggers will get to see how it’s done.
With their first encounter ending in a majority draw on the judges’ scorecards, the KSI v Logan Paul odds for the rematch make the latter odds-on favorite at 8/15. British rap star KSI is 6/4 with Paddy Power and another draw between him and the American is rated a 12/1 chance by oddsmakers.
As the build-up to KSI v Logan Paul 2 intensifies, we look back on some slightly more amusing celebrity fights.
Ricky Gervais v Grant Bovey
Did you know The Office and Extras star Ricky Gervais boxed British TV presenter Anthea Turner’s former husband, Grant Bovey, back in 2002? Long before he was hosting the Golden Globes, Gervais donned the gloves and battled Bovey for charity in a show called The Fight.
The man behind the iconic David Brent character won the bout on points. Both he and Bovey were born in 1961, putting the pair in their early 40s at the time of the boxing match.
Todd Bridges v Vanilla Ice
The jets of American rapper Vanilla Ice were cooled on the controversial US TV show Celebrity Boxing in 2002, when he lost a bout to the Diff’rent Strokes and Everybody Hates Chris actor, Todd Bridges.
Vanilla Ice’s major hit Ice Ice Baby famously sampled Queen and David Bowie’s 1980s classic, but it was inevitably Bridges who fared better in the ring under pressure. The judges gave the actor a unanimous decision victory to leave him singing We Are The Champions at the end of their encounter.
Bob Mortimer v Les Dennis
Two northern British comedians collided in the ring for Sport Relief with Middlesbrough native Bob Mortimer battling former Family Fortunes host Les Dennis, also in 2002. The latter used to say, “if it’s up there, I’ll give you the money myself”, but he was beaten by the co-anchor of the anarchic gameshow Shooting Stars.
As with Gervais v Bovey, this bout was for charity and the BBC have put on many others in years since. They include wildlife presenter Ben Fogle v Eastenders star Sid Owen, Sky Sports’ Goals On Sunday host Ben Shepherd v popstar Lemar, and Helen Skelton of Blue Peter and Countryfile fame v Love Island‘s Camilla Thurlow.
Dolph Lundgren v Oleg Taktarov
Boxing transitioned from the big screen to real life for Rocky IV actor Dolph Lundgren. After playing Soviet pugilist Ivan Drago opposite Sylvester Stallone, he battled MMA fighter Oleg Taktarov in Russa in 2007.
The event was called King of the Ring, not to be confused with the pro wrestling event and accolade. Taktarov, who ended his MMA career with a very respectable 17-5-2 record after appearing are some of the UFC’s earliest pay-per-views, beat Lundgren by decision.
So there you have it, some nostalgic bouts in the ring to perhaps tide you on till November 9. With logan being the bookies’ favourite, and KSI falling behind even before the first foot hits the canvas, it’ll definitely be interesting to see if the Youtuber can turn it around in time.