When Cassper Nyovest fought a Youtuber named Slik Talk in 2021, many called it a fad and an insult to the sweet science to event refer to the fight as a boxing match. The detractors were right from a pure boxing perspective because the standard of fighting was average at best, but I saw something different. I saw potential.

The reason for my optimism was the amount of coverage that these two men were creating. Prior to the fight, there were three simultaneously trending hashtags, Boxing SA got involved and there was even a live crossing from a national radio station, SAFM. I couldn’t believe just how many people were interested in the fight. A few days after the fight, a quick social media analysis of the numbers left me dumbstruck, the numbers were astounding!

  • 100000 YouTube viewers
  • 55000 peak Facebook viewers
  • #FamevsClout had 42.3 million reach in 7 days
  • #FamevsClout had 552 million impressions in 7 days
Meltwater Social Media Analysis Of Fame vs Clout
Meltwater Social Media Analysis Of Fame vs Clout

A second fight comes our way this weekend when Cassper Nyovest takes on fellow musician Naak Musiq in a fight dubbed “Celeb City”. Several sponsors have come on board including Hollywoodbets who will be the official betting partner, BMW Rustenburg the official mobility partner, SuperSport the official broadcaster and ofcourse Sun City resort and casino who will host the event.

This fight also showcases the true genius of Cassper Nyovest. Instead of just making the fight about him, he has added legitimacy to the showcase by bringing on board, Joyce Kungwane of TLB Boxing Promotions. She put a strong undercard together comprising two junior-lightweight fights and a super-middleweight bout.

Joyce Kungwane of TLB Boxing Promotions (second from left) and Cassper Nyovest (second from right)
Joyce Kungwane of TLB Boxing Promotions (second from left) and Cassper Nyovest (second from right)
To ensure that fans get their monies worth, there are no less than 44 acts who will be performing throughout the three-day event. The show kicks off on Friday 8 April with a weigh in concert featuring no less than fifteen performing acts followed by a pre-fight party on Saturday before the main event on Saturday night. That of course is followed by an afterparty and another event on Sunday called the Winners Circle celebration.

While the overall viewing numbers will undoubtedly decrease due to the mere fact that less people have access to DSTV where the fight will be broadcast, there is a real possibility that Cassper may be onto something here.

Looking to recent professional bouts broadcast on free to air channels as well as ESPN and SuperSport, there is a steep mountain to climb for Celeb City if Cassper is to be called the savior of boxing in South Africa. According to Nielsen data sourced from BRC Tams, the recent flyweight title fight between Phumelela Cafu and Jackoson Chauke on SuperSport Variety 4 attracted 360,439 viewers.

Nielsen Viewership Analysis Of 2022 Boxing Fights
Nielsen Viewership Analysis Of 2022 Boxing Fights

That fight was the exception rather than the rule as none of the other fights in 2022 have attracted more than 106,000 viewers. That this event will not be broadcast on the SABC channels is a big blow to the possible success of this event from a broadcasting perspective but it’s early days for this concept.

Whatever happens this weekend, my view is that this is good for boxing and the entertainment rich approach will only draw more fans to boxing events and in turn generate interest in the boxers themselves. Boxing in South Africa has been floundering for years with most of the funding that Boxing SA gets coming from government grants. Most fighters have full time jobs and struggle to make a living between fights.

I say, good luck to Cassper, Naak and all involved, long may it continue