Doctor Mike explains his problem with KSI’s boxing opponents ahead of Temperrr fight
We asked YouTube star, physician, and budding boxer Doctor Mike for his thoughts on KSI’s upcoming bout against FaZe Temperrr and the current state of the influencer-boxing scene.
KSI, a British rapper, YouTuber, and white-collar boxer, is taking on fellow influencer FaZe Temperrr on July 14 in the Misfits x DAZN Series 004 event, which is streaming exclusively on the combat sports platform.
This matchup comes as a last-minute shakeup to an event that, up until just a few days ago, was supposed to feature mixed martial artist Dillon Danis as KSI’s opponent. Danis suddenly pulled out of the match just a week before fight night, but fans are still excited to see two influencers duke it out in the ring, either way.
However, Doctor Mike isn’t too keen on KSI’s latest pick. In fact, he thinks the influencer is aiming for weaker opponents on purpose, and would rather the YouTuber face off against Slim Albaher, instead — the creator who defeated Temperrr on the undercard of KSI’s last fight back in August 2022.
Additionally, KSI actually name-dropped Doctor Mike as a possible opponent late last year, but the good doctor isn’t convinced the Brit will be up to the challenge.
“I have little faith that a fight between us ever happens, as it seems KSI and his team like to handpick easier opponents,” he said. “I don’t knock him for this though, as he’s wisely protecting his mind, body, and brand. If he was interested in a challenge, given his significant experience, I would’ve liked for him to fight Slim rather than the guy Slim knocked out. I hope his next fight will be against Jake Paul and that no one backs out at the last minute, because that’s getting tiring.”
Influencer boxing does experience the occasional lineup shuffle from time to time – be it due to last-minute injuries, scheduling conflicts, or problems with making weight before fight night. In 2022, KSI’s match against American YouTuber Alex Wassabi got switched to his unexpected ‘two fights, one night’ event after Wassabi received a debilitating head injury while sparring and couldn’t compete due to health risks.
Jake Paul had a similar experience, as his bout with Tommy Fury was canceled when the British boxer couldn’t make it to the United States due to travel difficulties. He then chose Hasim Rahman Jr. as his opponent — but Rahman couldn’t make weight in time, ultimately resulting in the entire event getting canned, costing Jake “millions” of dollars.
Doctor Mike calls influencer boxing a “positive” for combat sports
That being said, Doctor Mike thinks that influencer boxing is creating a positive (or at the very least, neutral) effect on the sport itself. Mike notably fought on the main event in 2022’s Creator Clash against iDubbbz — an event that saw huge positive reception from fans.
“It’s a slightly positive or net-neutral effect on the sport,” Doctor Mike said of the influencer boxing scene. “Some influencer events have respected the art of boxing, like Creator Clash, and others, like Showstar, left a black eye on influencer boxing (pun intended). I wish the matchmakers took their job more seriously, as they are bound to create a matchup that is going to put someone’s life in jeopardy due to a mismatch.”
Doctor Mike gives his take on Jake Paul vs Anderson Silva
Another major trend occurring in the influencer boxing realm has seen top creators face off against combat sports GOATS, such as Logan Paul vs Mayweather in 2020 and Jake Paul vs Anderson Silva in 2022. Doctor Mike notably fought on the undercard of Paul vs Silva — and he thinks that these kinds of matchups can make sense, if they’re executed with the right “purpose” in mind.
“I’m okay with influencers fighting ‘GOATS,’ but the fights must be made with a purpose,” he mused. “Deji vs. Mayweather never made sense, as the skill gap was ridiculous. At this stage, I would never venture into the ring with Mayweather as I know I stand no chance, making for a snoozefest of a main event (just like Deji’s fight was). “
Doctor Mike: “No one in the influencer space is taking on challenges like this”
Doctor Mike has experience to back up his claims. The board-certified physician has been boxing to stay in shape for ten years, and took his first official matches in 2022 against YouTuber iDubbbz and pro boxer Chris Avila. He’s also trained alongside professional fighter Amanda Serrano, on top of his many years in Taekwondo as a youth.
“My fight against Chris Avila was by far the most formidable challenge,” he said of his current fighting career. “Not only did I have to come down to an all-time low weight of 182 lbs, but I stepped in the ring with someone who has over 20+ fights of experience, is currently on a 5 or 6-fight win streak (including on Jake Paul’s last event), and is younger than me.”
“No one in the influencer space is taking on challenges like this. Even when KSI fights a ‘professional’ like Pineda, it’s someone he knows will be guaranteed to be a joke of an opponent.”
Although Mike ultimately lost his bout against Avila, his fight against iDubbbz earlier that year was a huge success, and he’s stated that he’s open to taking more fights in the future as the influencer boxing world continues to roll on.
For now, though, he feels that the success of the scene is dependent on the efforts of influencers, pro fighters, and brands to make it the best — and most professional — experience possible.
“Right now, the long-term success of the influencer boxing world is up in the air. If we continue to see low-quality events with poor matchups, the appetite for the sport will dwindle, so I am hopeful that more investment will be made from brands and fighters alike. “
Doctor Mike is up for the challenge
All in all, Doctor Mike is aware of just how taxing influencer boxing can be — and despite the many influencers set to step into the ring this year, he’s pretty sure that no one is doing it quite like he is (aside from Jake Paul, of course).
“In boxing, nothing trumps experience, and I’m not speaking solely about ring experience,” he explained. “The preparation, the injuries, the weight loss, the distractions, the drama all take a toll, and you become much more comfortable each time you’re exposed to the whole fight experience.”
Also, both [of my own] fights were of epic magnitude for different reasons. Creator Clash was the main event in front of a sold-out 10,000-person arena. The most recent was a true professional showtime PPV main card bout against someone with significantly more fight experience. Besides maybe Jake Paul, no one has taken on this level of challenge in the influencer fight game.”