The Rise of Influencer Fights
In the next evolution of the social-media-star boxing boom, a group of TikTokers are set to take on YouTubers in what’s being advertised as a “Battle of the Platforms.”
YouTuber Austin McBroom and TikTok star Bryce Hall are headlining the June 5 boxing event, which will feature several YouTube and TikTok stars going head-to-head in the ring.
Presented as a YouTube vs. TikTok event, “Social Gloves: Battle of the Platforms” will also feature performances from musicians, who have yet to be announced. The programming will stream as a pay-per-view event on LiveXLive, a streaming platform that is producing and distributing the fight.
McBroom, 28, is a family vlogger and founder of The ACE Family channel, which has been dogged by controversy in the past, including speculation that they’ve faked dramatic content for views and a leaked clip that showed Austin yelling at his wife Catherine.
Hall, who first found his online footing on platforms like Musical.ly and YouTube, became one of TikTok’s biggest stars. The 21-year-old now has over 19.5 million followers and has also been mired in controversy across much of his career.
The pair had been sparring on social media in the days before the fight was announced, and Dexerto reported that McBroom had been pressuring Hall to agree to a fight since December 2020. Now, that alleged fight has spiraled into a full event that’s set to include matches featuring DDG, Deji, FaZe Jarvis, Michael Le, Nate Wyatt, Tanner Fox, and Vinnie Hacker.
While the competition is being marketed as a “Battle of the Platforms,” YouTube isn’t associated with the event, and TikTok does not appear to be either. A TikTok spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
According to a press release for the event, further details including ticket and pay-per-view information will be released in the coming weeks. From announcements that LiveXLive, Hall, and McBroom have posted on social media, it also appears that there are two slots open in the roster. Both are listed as “you pick” options to fight Tayler Holder (representing TikTok) and Danny Duncan (representing YouTube), respectively, and it’s not yet clear how they’ll be chosen.
As USA Today reported, the YouTube boxing movement kicked off in earnest when YouTubers KSI (whose real name is Olajide Olayinka Williams) and Joe Weller fought in London in February 2018. Since then, other social media stars — Jake and Logan Paul in particular — have hopped into the ring as well.
Jake Paul appears to be treating the sport at least somewhat seriously, telling Insider combat sports correspondent Alan Dawson ahead of his November 2020 fight with NBA dunk champion Nate Robinson that he sees a “huge future” for himself in the sport.