Doctor Mike is both a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine and an internet superstar — one who will be facing off against fellow influencer iDubbbz in the upcoming Creator Clash charity boxing event.
We got the chance to sit down with Doctor Mike to talk about his forthcoming debut match, his history with combat sports, and his time spent training with boxing greats like Amanda Serrano and Ryan Garcia.
Those tuning into Doctor Mike’s YouTube channel for the first time may only recognize him for his reactions to humorous medical memes and thoughts on current health trends… but medicine isn’t the only major player in this influencer’s life.
Ahead of his bout against iDubbbz for Creator Clash’s main event, Doctor Mike revealed his storied history with combat sports and his desire to compete on an international level that was, at first, thwarted by his medical career.
“I always wanted to go into some aspect of professional or semi-pro sports,” he admitted. “I did Taekwondo growing up, martial arts for about eight to nine years. I was very serious about it. I would go to tournaments. I wanted to pursue the Olympic sort of trajectory of the sport.”
“But because I decided to go into this 7-year accelerated medical program, the amount of credits I needed to take to stay in that program was just too overwhelming to be able to compete athletically. I view this as my opportunity now, before I start getting into my mid-late thirties, to do something in the pro athletic space with the sport I fell in love with.”
Doctor Mike considers himself truly “blessed” to be able to make his boxing debut in front of “tens of thousands of fans” and hopes to use this newest opportunity as a launching pad for more possible boxing matches in the future.
Doctor Mike hopes to fight in more influencer boxing matches
In fact, Doctor Mike says he can “definitely” see himself involved in further influencer boxing events, no matter if he wins or loses to iDubbbz in the ring this May.
“Mostly going off of what my coach has been telling me — I’ve been with my coach, Thomas Baldwin, for 10-11 years now, ever since I set foot into a boxing gym. He was always saying, ‘Mike, you have something special, you really could do this.’ At the time, I was in med school residency, I never even saw that it could be possible,” he explained.
“But with YouTube boxing becoming a legitimate venue to be able to showcase your talents, I said, ‘Well, you know what? Let’s push through and make this a reality.’ If this fight with Ian goes well, not necessarily about a win or a loss, but more so about my quality in the ring, my ability to stay cool in the ring. If that looks good, I’m most definitely gonna continue and seek other fights.”
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Doctor Mike wants to box Tyson Fury
When it comes to influencer boxing, the possibilities are endless. (Right now, Jake Paul is throwing around the possibility of touching gloves with the likes of Mike Tyson and Anderson Silva — both pro fighters who are open to the possibility of taking on an internet celebrity.)
The time is ripe for creators to take their stand in the ring and call out their favorite athletes. Doctor Mike’s no-holds-barred, dream boxing match would pit him against British boxing star Tyson Fury… but probably not in a sanctioned professional match.
“I probably wouldn’t do a pro fight with this person, but I would love to spar with Tyson Fury,” he revealed. “He’s a legend! I’m a huge fan of his. I actually flew out to his final fight against Wilder. That was just pure spectacle, an amazing bout. He’s really talented for his size. He talks about mental health, which I’m a big proponent of. Everything about this guy is just… I wanna be in the ring with him. Even if he just abuses me, that’s a story I need to tell my grandchildren about.”
Getting advice from Amanda Serrano
Doctor Mike already boasts experience with some of the biggest names in boxing. Just last month, he sparred with unified featherweight world champion Amanda Serrano. He even worked out with the undefeated Ryan Garcia, who suffered a broken right hand at the time of their joint YouTube video last year (although that didn’t stop Garcia from introducing Doctor Mike to his infamous ‘body shot challenge’).
Having the expertise of these boxing greats on hand is a huge advantage for Doctor Mike in the build-up to his bout with iDubbbz. He says both Serrano and her coach have been hitting him up with tips for his debut bout, which has ultimately helped “open up” his mind in preparation for his first-ever match.
“They gave me a lot of good advice — mostly about the mental component that goes into boxing,” he revealed. “For me, as someone who is new to training as hard as I am now for the sport, I didn’t realize how tedious it is. How difficult it is to push through and get into those zones of when you’re not actually fighting someone, but you need to simulate it as if you were. That’s probably the most difficult part of the sport for me.”
“I’ve been talking to Serrano quite often — we saw each other just a few weeks ago at Madison Square Garden for one of the fights. And I’m gonna be sitting ringside for her upcoming fight against Katie Taylor, so that’s gonna be really exciting. But her coach was constantly telling me about things I need to improve movement-wise. All of that coming from people with tremendous experience has really allowed me to open up my mind and be more thoughtful about what I’m doing in the ring. As a rookie it’s really easy to lose your mind, just go nuts and think you’re in a street fight. They’ve sort of helped me center myself and keep my cool.”
Influencer boxing – not about making the big bucks
For Doctor Mike, influencer boxing isn’t a chance to flaunt his talent and make a quick buck. Creator Clash is finally allowing him a chance to compete in combat sports on a major stage — and it’s also giving him an opportunity to give back in a huge way.
Creator Clash is, first and foremost, a charity event, orchestrated with the ultimate intent to raise “as much money as possible” for charities like the American Heart Association and other organizations chosen by the participating content creators.
“Before even hooking up with iDubbbz, I wanted to do something for charity in my boxing match,” Doctor Mike said of the event’s charity aspect. “My goal was to always give back my purse to a specific charity that I was working with. When iDubbbz said that this was gonna be a charity event, it got me even more excited.”
“A lot of people who go into influencer boxing are really looking for a big payday. They talk about them being big businessmen. That’s not important to me. Obviously, you want to be paid appropriately for your work and your contribution. For me, if I can give back with this whole boxing thing, that makes the process so much more beneficial to me. Even when I work with sponsors, I will tell them, ‘Unless my viewers get something beneficial out of this… without benefit to them, I’m not doing it.’ So this falls in line with everything else we’re doing on the channel, as well.”
Some of YouTube’s biggest boxers have managed to score jaw-dropping payouts (as seen in the alleged $65 million generated from Jake Paul’s 2021 bout with Ben Askren). But Doctor Mike isn’t it for the cash. He’s looking forward to putting his abilities to the test and helping others, along the way — something that’s leaving him “very excited for what the future holds.”
Creator Clash is scheduled for Saturday, May 14 at the Yuengling Center in Tampa, Florida — but fans can buy tickets to watch digitally via the official Creator Clash website.