Prime Card: Paul vs. Danis and KSI vs. Fury predictions

Prime Card: Paul vs. Danis and KSI vs. Fury predictions

  • MMA News
  • octobre 14, 2023
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The Prime Card could be the event that takes influencer boxing to the next level or the start of its decline.

While there’s a large segment of the combat sports fanbase probably viewing the second part of that statement as wishful thinking, it’s a question worth asking: Where do the biggest names in influencer boxing go after this?

For KSI and Logan Paul, Saturday’s event in Manchester, England, is primarily an excuse for them to promote their Prime energy drink. Sure, they might get a kick out of fighting and are genuinely competitive human beings, but no matter what happens in tonight’s fights they’re leaving the arena as winners with plenty of spare change in their pockets.

For Tommy Fury and Dillon Danis, they’re playing with house money. Fury already got the better of Jake Paul, the most famous competitor in this sideshow of a sideshow, and just landing the KSI fight is a cherry on the sundae. Danis has zero credibility as a fighter anyway and he’s already stolen the majority of the headlines leading up to his first fight since 2019, so what harm can Logan Paul actually do to him?

Would anyone be surprised if we never saw any of these crossover combatants strap on a pair of gloves again, or if their in-ring appearances became even rarer after this weekend? The Misfits Boxing team is aiming to make cards like this one—and make no mistake, as far as social media notoriety goes, this lineup is loaded—an annual event, but pardon me if I assume that the majority of these folks won’t hesitate to run to the hills once the gold rush is over.

For now, let’s take at the top-four fights on Saturday and see if we can figure out who will claim the most ephemeral of bragging rights.

What: Misfits Boxing: The Prime Card

Where: Manchester Arena in Manchester, England

When: The four-fight preliminary card begins at noon ET, followed by a six-fight main card at 2 p.m. ET that airs live on DAZN PPV and PPV.com.

KSI vs. Tommy Fury

Did anyone else forget that this was the main event?

KSI has done a fine job of helping to build Misfits Boxing into a seemingly sustainable combat sports brand, but he had to know that as soon as Logan Paul and Dillon Danis were booked to compete on this card that it would overshadow all the other matchups. That, or KSI assumed like the rest of us that Danis simply wouldn’t show up. Either way, it became the Paul vs. Danis card in my mind.

Wanting to fight someone because they beat the guy that you actually want to fight is a tough sell and that’s exactly what we’ve ended up with as KSI takes on reality television star and competent boxer Tommy Fury. They’ve done their best to stir the pot, but the animosity between KSI and Fury hasn’t reached a tenth of the heat that we saw in the Jake Paul-Fury rivalry. Even big ol’ John Fury kind of feels like he’s turning it up for the cameras.

So what we have to actually look forward to is six rounds of mediocre boxing, with KSI not much of a threat to knock out Fury because he doesn’t really know what he’s doing and Fury not much of a threat to knock out KSI because he’s Tommy Fury. KSI’s athleticism and fitness should be enough to get him to the scorecards, but that’s about the nicest thing I can say about his chances.

As one of the “experts” (insert clown emoji here) who gave Jake Paul a chance of knocking Fury out, I’ve learned my lesson. Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me…I can’t get fooled again!

Fury on points.

Pick: Fury

Logan Paul vs. Dillon Danis

Dillon Danis is actually fighting. Dillon Danis is actually fighting. Dillon Danis is actually fighting. Dillon Danis is actually fighting. Dillon Danis is actually fighting.

Sorry. Had to put that on screen and read it out loud a few times to convince myself that it’s real.

I’m aware that there’s plenty that could happen between this predictions piece going live and the walkouts for the co-main event. Danis could decide he wants to continue the longest running troll job in combat sports history and just dip. A raging Nina Agdal could knock Danis out backstage like Charles Bennett did to Wanderlei Silva. The earth could open up and swallow Manchester Arena whole just as Danis’ music hits. Everything is on the table.

Regardless, Danis has made it closer to fight night than he has in years and for that he should be applauded (even if only sarcastically). The scary thing is that he could actually win too.

Logan Paul can crow about going eight rounds with Floyd Mayweather all he wants, anyone who watched that exhibition bout saw it for what it was. Factually, yes, Paul went the distance, but at no point did he actually look like he belonged in there with Mayweather and had the fight been scored it would have been a clear win for the boxing legend. It’s a pretty flimsy feather for Paul to have in his cap.

Fortunately for Paul, like the main event this is only a six-rounder so it opens up the door for him to take some chances and go for broke early. Back up the talk, go in swinging, and hope to catch a rusty Danis on the chin. Otherwise, he runs the risk of this becoming an actual boxing match and if that’s how it goes then we’re entering coin toss territory.

Neither of these guys are good boxers and with so little time to work, it only takes a few moments of significant offense to steal the fight. My heart is telling me this will somehow end in a draw, but if I must decide…

Pick: Danis

Salt Papi vs. Slim

If it sounds like I’m being too hard on the competitors on this card, I probably am, so let’s bring in some positivity. Salt Papi vs. Slim should be fun!

The top-two fights certainly have the potential to be engaging in their own way, but Salt Papi and Slim have actually proven to be entertaining scrappers in their boxing exploits thus far. Slim has that unorthodox and awkward style you like to see in a lanky fighter, while Salt Papi has impressed with his natural power punching. Add in the fact that Salt Papi has trimmed down essentially making this “Slim vs. Slim Papi” and we have what could be the people’s main event.

Salt Papi learned a lot in his last fight against Anthony Taylor, which saw him foiled by some pretty basic boxing techniques. He’s had five months to stew on that letdown and if his body is any indication, we’re going to see a different beast on Saturday. That’s bad news for Slim, who is exciting to watch when he gets his hands going, but has poor defense and an inability to use his reach effectively.

At some point in the first three rounds, Salt Papi is going to land a bomb and put Slim down for the count.

Pick: Salt Papi

Deen the Great vs. Walid Sharks

Give Deen the Great this: If you squint while watching him work, he actually kind of looks like a boxer.

Unlike much of his influencer boxing brethren, Deen looks to employ solid fundamentals and counter-striking as opposed to just going in there and headhunting. He utilizes his jab, he keeps his head moving, and he looks for openings to throw his right hand. A lot of this approach breaks down once the fists start flying, but it’s better than nothing!

Walid Sharks falls more into the traditional influencer boxer (there’s an oxymoron for you) mold, which is to say that he has a ton of bravado, an inkling of talent, and a desire to entertain above all else. This was evident when he fought Deen last November in a bout that saw him act as the aggressor, even at great risk to his own health. Walid might not have liked the stoppage in their first fight, but it was a direct result of him leaving his hands down and leaving himself vulnerable to a whopper of a right hand from Deen.

It wasn’t a fluke, which is why I favor the more patient Deen to beat Sharks again, only this time by decision after five exciting rounds.

Pick: Deen the Great

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