Celebrity pugilist KSI’s time as an unblemished boxer in the realm of fights that don’t count has come to an end. The social media star and hip hop artist first set his sights on a career in the ring back in 2018, for a pair of amateur bouts against fellow YouTuber’s Joe Weller and Logan Paul.
A year later KSI and Paul met again as professionals, with KSI winning that bout by split decision. In the time since, however, it’s been nothing but exhibition contests promoted by his own Misfits Boxing company for the 29-year-old. The latest of which came against celebrity businessman and nightclub owner Joe Fournier.
KSI KOs Fournier with forbidden blow
Taking place at the Wembley Arena in London, KSI looked in complete control in his latest bout against Fournier. He opened their first round with a series of hard right hands, putting his opponent immediately on the back foot and taking command of the ring.
Once the jitters were out, the fight settled into much more of the kind of ugly enhanced sparring session fans would expect from two men whose sporting interests are largely a part time affair. A few jabs, some clinching, and some complaints from Fournier about getting hit behind the head. If he thought he was on the receiving end of illegal blows, though, the worst was yet to come.
Just a minute into the second round KSI landed a heavy overhand right that had Fournier visibly shaken. A short uppercut followup punch, and Fournier was out cold on the canvas. Well, at least it looked like an uppercut in the moment. Turns out it was an elbow.
Fournier made it known immediately that he planned to protest the result. Even KSI suggested that his victory, although “inevitable,” had been tarnished.
“After landing my overhand he was pretty much out on his feet and I went for a short right hook as Joe clinched me and fell into me,” KSI explained in a statement on Twitter. “I landed that hook and my glove made contact but appears to have been followed by unintentional contact with my forearm. I’m gutted that it’s not as clean a win as I wanted and it feels like it diminishes my hard work with my trainers.”
Fournier’s appeal successful, fight now a ‘No Decision’
Even though the bout didn’t have any real stakes, since it was technically an exhibition contest, the Professional Boxing Association (PBA), which licensed the fight, has ruled that the result should be overturned—as requested by Fournier’s appeal.
“Today, Mr Joe Fournier and KSI were advised of a ‘Reviewed Decision’ that was undertaken by Mr Gareth Morris, the referee in charge of the bout,” read a statement from the PBA.
“After a thorough review of the evidence and representations […] Mr Morris came to an independent decision. Even though KSI was winning the fight [and] the blow with the forearm/elbow has been found to be accidental, and [in spite of] the obvious disappointment that will follow, it has been decided that the contest is declared a No Decision in accordance with the rules.
“The PBA has conducted the review properly, fairly and with legal assistance throughout as the bout was sanctioned and regulated under the unified rules of boxing. We have ensured that this process was conducted swiftly and fairly to uphold the integrity of boxing.”
It may have been a carnival-grade contest, with the lowest possible stakes, but the integrity of boxing has been preserved for another day. I suppose now we’ll just have to look forward to the inevitable rematch to finally settle the score.
Then again, maybe not…
In the meantime, if fans are wondering how KSI is taking the loss of his latest victory, he doesn’t seem too broken up about it.
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