Dillon Danis – The Grim Reaper of Influencer Boxing

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Last night, Dillon Danis potentially ended the hype around influencer boxing as a whole. We all know that this isn’t boxing as we know it. What we do know is that it’s a combination of sports, entertainment and creator competition, not boxing.

Taking on Logan Paul, Danis made a mockery of influencer boxing as we know it and all but killed the spectacle of the night. Not only was his performance an embarrassment but the pre-fight and post fight actions of both Team Danis and Team Paul have lead to many turning their back on the spectacle that is crossover boxing.

Let’s not forget, boxing ‘hardcores’ know that the intended audience is not them, rather the younger, ‘Gen Z’ viewers. The younger generation, teenagers and followers of YouTube culture are those that are expected to not only attend these events but buy the PPVs. They’re the ones who are inspired by the likes of Paul and KSI, which is why this week’s fight week isn’t a good look.

Let’s take a look at how this fight and particular, Danis orchestrate the potential death of influencer boxing.

Pre-Fight Antics

The pre-fight antics started many weeks ago with Dillon Danis attacking Paul’s fiancĂ© on social media, attempting to get under the skin of his opponent. Although he’s still potentially facing legal action on the matter, it appears that Logan Paul didn’t allow the moment to get to him and fight emotional but instead told Danis that he forgives him in their pre-fight face off.

This wasn’t a good look, families should never get involved with combat sports unless they involve themselves (*cough* John Fury *cough*).

Danis’ pre-fight antics continued at the pre-fight press-conference. Granted, Paul started it this time. He under arm threw a bottle at the Bellator man, however, Danis then took it to the next step. He tossed a mic at Paul, causing both a cut and a black eye for the WWE man as well as igniting a brawl.

It, simply put, just wasn’t a good look. The fight was in jeopardy as no one truly knew quite how bad the cut was and luckily, it still went ahead. Many might have hoped that it didn’t, however.

The Fight Itself

Comically bad. From what we understand, Danis’ gameplan was to allow Paul to throw at him, land on his arms and gas himself out.

It wasn’t to be, however. Paul didn’t gas out, constantly landed on Danis and unloaded on him multiple times, causing bruising around one of Danis’ eyes.

Not only this, but Danis barley through a strike, seemed tentative and when he did throw, his technique was poor. He swung potential counters but missed by massive margins every time. Despite all the talk pre-fight and all of the in-fight comments by Danis, he didn’t throw anything with any venom, wasn’t looking to set anything up, nor did he try and push Paul at any point. It was easy for the co-owner of Prime.

Then came the showmanship. He ‘did a Nick Diaz’ and lay on his back at one point, looking to try and initiate a jiu jitsu match, however, they weren’t the rules. He shot for a takedown and failed. He knew he had nothing for Paul so threw the fight on purpose. He ruined the fight at the end of the sixth and final round by attempting (and failing again) to pull Paul into a guillotine choke and jump guard. Again, it wasn’t to be, however.

It was a bad look all round with Danis not taking the fight seriously and Paul not having the ability to get him out of there. It went down as a disqualification, despite Paul having won every round.

Post Fight

After failing on an attempted guillotine, Danis fell to his back and proceeded to get back to his feet (after the bell) and still attack Paul. He went on to swing punches at Paul’s security, causing a mass team on team potential brawl. Luckily, no one was hurt after the fight, however, it was an embarrassing look.

Danis has since taken to X (formerly Twitter) and claimed:

“A jiu-itsu guy with no boxing camp or coach made his debut, never wobbled, never dropped, had no standing eight count, and rocked you multiple times. If I were Nina, I’d call off the wedding. You achieved nothing in your own sport, MMA next,”

Takeaways and the Death of the Influencer Game

The main takeaway is disappointment. After all that talk from Danis, he simply didn’t turn up. Why was this? He came for a payday, knew what he was doing with regards to movement and keeping himself out of trouble and likely knew that he couldn’t beat Paul.

It’s a bad look for the influencer game because young people look up these personalities, expect a degree of rivalry, but ultimately a spectacle. As soon as the fight began, we knew we weren’t going to get the spectacle that many wished for.

Unless those in charge vet their fighters to make sure that they actually put the effort into training, have some ambition to actually fight and win during training camp, this could be the end.

It got nasty, it got violent (remember, the target audience is children and teenagers) and it wasn’t good. If more performances are put in like Danis’, the interest in seeing more influencer fights will dwindle, significantly.

It wasn’t entertaining, it wasn’t competitive and wasn’t a good look for Misfits or the world of cross over boxing as a whole.

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Frazer Krohn has been with MMASucka for nearly 5 years. He is the host of the MMASucka podcast, which is released every Monday. He's the author of a series of six books about MMA, which were published in 2023.

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