LOS ANGELES — In their second fight to resolve their online rivalry, KSI got the better of Logan Paul on Saturday night at Staples Center.
KSI defeated Paul by split decision, with two judges scoring the bout 57-54 and 56-55 for KSI, while a third judge had it 56-55 for Paul.
The two YouTube personalities met in the ring last summer as amateurs in England, with the fight being ruled a majority draw.
“KSI last time was scared. I was scared to fight,” KSI said in his postfight interview in the ring. “I was scared to touch him. I was scared to get close to him. This time, I just went in. This time, I just kept going. I kept going and going.”
Saturday night’s bout didn’t come without controversy. In the fourth round, Paul visibly hurt KSI with a short right uppercut on the inside and then followed with another uppercut that dropped him to the canvas.
However, Paul pinned KSI’s head down as he landed the punch that floored him. Referee Jack Reiss briefly paused the fight and ruled a two-point deduction for Paul. That proved to be critical, as a possible 10-8 round for Paul instead became 8-8 in a huge swing in the scorecards.
Paul said he didn’t think the two-point deduction was fair.
“I let emotions get the best of me, man, but I will say, no warning and I get two points taken away from me, and that’s why I think I lost tonight,” Paul said. “I would love to contest the commission, because I think I should have gotten a warning.”
In the final two rounds, Paul and KSI were mostly throwing wild, flailing punches that often missed their intended target. While both fought with great passion and effort in an entertaining affair, there wasn’t much in the way of precision in their punches, with KSI landing 56 of 264 (21%) and Paul landing 61 of 220 (28%).
While the final verdict was close and contested, both KSI and Paul seemed to squash their differences, as they paid respect to each other and embraced.
“It takes a big man to get in the ring, and you’re a big man,” KSI said. “You made me work. You made me work today, and you made me work last year, as well. Thank you for a good fight, bro.”
Paul returned the praise to his rival.
“You are the one of the toughest people I know,” Paul said. “You deserve everything you’ve earned in life. You had my respect before this match, bro. And as much s— as I can talk … it’s all for show, it’s all to sell it, dude. You are one of the toughest people I know, and I wish you the best.”