KSI didn’t fully understand the controversy surrounding his knockout of Joe Fournier at Misfits Boxing 7 until he was backstage after the fight. But then he saw a replay that confirmed to him what the rest of the world already knew: The final blow that sent Fournier tumbling to the canvas? It came from an elbow, rendering it illegal under boxing rules.
“At that point, I’m just devastated,” KSI said Monday on The MMA Hour. “That’s all I think about. And I’m like, this has ruined all my hard work. Just, it’s so annoying because I worked so hard. I look back at the fight and I looked so good. Second round, I did everything right.
“That one moment has just destroyed or just ruined everything that I worked for. And I don’t know, it was just frustrating, and it really pissed me off if I’m being honest, because I’m looking online and everyone was like, ‘Elbow, elbow, forearm, you cheated, you cheat, you cheat, should be disqualified.’ And I’m like, bro, I just went for a right hook. I went for a right hook because I’m knew he was trying to clinch me. I don’t know, it was frustrating.”
That frustration is understandable, because KSI nearly pulled off one of the finest highlights of his boxing career. The 29-year-old had Fournier dead to rights after rocking him with a flush overhand right midway through the second round of the exhibition bout. But just as Fournier stumbled forward to initiate a desperation clinch, KSI came up inches short with a follow-up right hand, and instead caught Fournier flush with a nasty, fight-ending elbow.
Fournier afterward accused KSI of throwing the illegal blow intentionally — a claim which the popular crossover boxer finds preposterous.
“I just think that’s ludicrous,” KSI said. “I’m winning the fight. I’m winning everything about the fight. I literally rocked you with an overhand. Why would I want to elbow you, bro? It’s just so ludicrous. It literally makes no sense. And like I said, it makes sense if I was losing the fight and I’m desperate — OK, fine. But there was no desperation.
“I was fit, two rounds in, I was comfortable, I hit him with several big shots, and he was shook. He was shook and he was scrambling. He needed saving.”
Fournier has already filed an appeal with the Professional Boxing Association (PBA), which oversaw and regulated Misfits Boxing 7. An official decision regarding the matter is expected to arrive “on or before” Friday afternoon, May 19, according to a PBA release.
KSI predicts his victory will ultimately be overturned into a no-contest.
“If it’s a no-contest, fine,” KSI said. “I’ll be pissed if it’s a disqualification, because I didn’t intentionally try to hit him with my forearm or my elbow or whatever. Like, I came through with a right hook to try and knock him out while he was coming in to clinch me, because I knew he was going to scramble to save his life after I hit him with an overhand.
“At least now Joe Fornier doesn’t look like a loser. He can be like, ‘Ah, because of the whole no-contest, it doesn’t really count.’ Even though I was all over him, but yeah.
“I’m at peace with a no-contest,” KSI continued. “I don’t really mind because, for me, I’m a fair guy. If it is a no-context, it’s a no-contest. It is what it is. I don’t need a win. For me, the reason I came back was to knock out Jake Paul. These are all just side quests to get to Jake Paul, but now I can indirectly destroy Jake Paul’s legacy by beating Tommy Fury.”
Regardless, the result of Fournier’s appeal won’t change KSI’s plans for what happens next.
After calling out Tommy Fury post-fight and nearly igniting an in-ring melee between the two fighters, KSI reiterated Monday that he is “100 percent” set on fighting Fury next.
Controversy or not, he has no interest in a Fournier rematch.
“Because I was just all over [Fournier],” KSI explained. “I was beating him and it was easy. It way easier than I thought it would be. And I’m just like, what’s the point? Why not? And if anything, most people are like, ‘What’s the point?’ The public are like, ‘We don’t care. You beat him anyway, so fight Tommy Fury.’ People want to see me get tested.
“People are sick and tired of me just deleting people. They’re like, ‘Alright, cool. Let’s see how you do against Tommy Fury. If you delete him, then fine, you’re the GOAT, and then we’ll never say a bad word again.’ But right now it’s like, they want to see me get tested.”