The Russian social media star has amassed a huge following on social media over the past few years and is set to make his long-awaited boxing debut against Kristen Hanby tonight
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Russian YouTube star Vitaly is set to make his boxing debut against fellow prankster Kristen Hanby tonight after a career full of highs and very controversial lows.
The social media sensation launched his YouTube channel Vitalyzdtv in 2011, where he pranked unsuspecting members of the public, and quickly amassed a huge following.
In an effort to grow his following, he famously had a series of run-ins with the law, including efforts to excel at the World Cup, NBA, and baseball World Series finals.
He amassed over 10 million followers over a nine-year period, but an April 2020 arrest for aggravated assault in Miami landed him behind bars and the end of a social media backlash unlike any he’d seen before.
Just months later, his fate only got worse when he was hospitalized after a skydiving accident that left him with a broken neck and back while fighting for his life.
And after losing a large chunk of his following and hitting rock bottom, he decided to break free from the alcohol, drugs, and steroids he had been taking to achieve his giant bodybuilder’s physique.
Just weeks later, he had signed on to make his boxing debut against fellow prankster Hanby, which finally takes place tonight at London’s Wembley Arena.
“I learned from my mistakes,” he said mirror fight in a candid interview. “It’s definitely been a tough two years of my life.
“I was depressed, had substance abuse but I’m sober and healthy now, my mother is fine, I’m happy which is the most important thing.
“I lost everything because of my legal issues and then I broke my back and neck, then I lost a loved one.
“I lost mine too Instagramwhich may sound petty, but that was my biggest source of income, and it all happened in one year.”
He’s made something of a comeback on YouTube in recent months, but his number of views pales in comparison to his heyday when he raked in millions.
However, he sees his boxing career as an opportunity to make headlines again, this time for positive reasons he hopes to eventually face Jake-Paul.
The couple were once friends in the Los Angeles influencer scene, but now love is not lost between the pair and he has vowed to rid the sport of the divisive Ohio native.
“I don’t want to fight a loser,” he said of Paul, whose older brother Logan is also a professional boxer. “So I walk past Logan and head straight for Jake.
“I know Jake will make up a lot of excuses, say I’m irrelevant, blah blah blah, which is because I took a break from YouTube to deal with my own issues.
“At the end of the day, they need to know who the dad is.
“When we were friends, they always told me how much they looked up to me.
“They said the reason they started social media was because of me, so at the end of the day they have to pay respect to my name and get in the ring.
“I’m built differently, I’m hungry, I’m Russian, I have boiling blood.”
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But to get to Paul, he must first get past his rival Hanby, with whom he shares a heated feud after the Brit dragged his mother into the feud.
Hanby and Vitaly almost clashed several times leading up to their fight, but he promises the fight will be quick – claiming he’ll land a 60-second knockout.
“I feel bad, I really do,” he said of the punishment he intends to dish out. “I’ve seen him spar, he’s performed on stage, he looks like a joke; he’s a street fighter and this is boxing!
“I’m a man of my word – I’ll definitely knock him out, you’ll see.
“The relationship ended, he talked shit about my mother, I talked shit about his grandmother, I take responsibility for it, but mothers are different.
“He’s going to get slapped around, it’s a rottweiler vs a chihuahua in the ring, I’m going to rip him apart.
“He’s going to regret it – it’s going to hurt.
“A cop couldn’t knock me out, how is anyone supposed to tell me Kristen Hanby can knock me out?”
Hanby is hoping to keep fans happy with a big win that would see the Russian humiliated in his efforts to make a comeback on the world stage.
cards are on sale now at showstarboxing.com and through AXS for Showstar Boxing 2022, which will be directed by Deji vs. Alex Wassabi.
If you are outside the UK you can watch the fight on PPV via the Showstar website for £6.99.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/boxing/vitaly-kristen-hanby-boxing-fight-26391700 Vitaly's journey from steroids, strands and a broken neck to a YouTube boxing match