By Ash Lall
London cruiserweight Viddal Riley (4-0, 2KOs) is a YouTuber with over a million followers. He is also a professional boxer, widely recognised as YouTube star KSI’s former boxing coach, but wait, don't roll your eyes just yet! This 22-year-old is a serious talent, with an outstanding amateur career behind him where he won national titles and a European silver.
The Hackney-born boxer was first introduced to boxing by his father, Derrick Riley, at six-years-old, the age when Viddal first started his amateur career. Aside from boxing, Viddal has a YouTube channel called ‘VIDDAL’, creating content including entertainment, vlogs, music, and sports-related videos.
At amateur level, Viddal collected eight national championships and a European junior silver medal, boxing in his West Ham ABC vest with legendary trainer Micky May behind him. Furthermore, he represented Team GB in the 2014 Nanjing Summer Youth Games while holding an amateur record of 41-8 (19 KO’s).
Signed to Mayweather Promotions, in November 2018 life changed for Viddal as he made his professional debut, beating Julio Manuel Gonzalez with a first-round knockout at the Big Punch Arena in Tijuana, Mexico. January 2019 saw Vidal on the undercard of Manny Pacquiao vs Adrien Broner at the MGM Grand Arena. In Las Vegas he defeated Mitchell Spangler in a first-round stoppage. Viddal went to win his third and fourth fight, both Unanimous Decisions. The third was against Austine Nnamdi, and the fourth Muhammad Abdullah. The British Cruiserweight’s professional boxing record currently stands at 4-0 (2 KO’s).
Viddal has been influential in building a bridge between YouTube and boxing, which started when he coached KSI to beat fellow YouTuber Joe Weller at the Copper Box Arena in London in February 2018. KSI went on to fight American influencer Logan Paul at the Manchester Arena in August 2018. This event ended in a majority draw. The pair fought again on the 9th November 2019 at the Staples Center, LA. KSI, still coached by Viddal Riley, won this bout by a split decision in front of millions across the globe.
From this endeavour, Viddal Riley’s sporting profile has reached new heights. Firstly, in October 2019, he became the first UK boxer to sign with Mayweather Promotions, and recently published by a video call with Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe pointing to a professional debut in the UK in 2021.
It has been a unique journey to stardom for the Hackney-raised boxer, particularly in an era where sport has become revolutionised. Viddal has had to adapt his strategy to gain credibility in multiple sectors. His involvement with KSI quickly raised his profile in the digital space and has continued to garner more success outside of his boxing career. A music project called ‘LIVIN SPORTS’ gathered him 500,000 streams on Spotify in 30 weeks, and he has even found time to launch a sports and lifestyle clothing ‘RIL Athletics’.
On another note, the 22-year old has used his image to give back to the community by setting up boxing camps at his old gym, West Ham boxing club. The grassroots initiative aims to give upcoming athletes the chance to explore boxing.
The success of Viddal Riley’s journey can be attributed to him remaining proactive and thinking outside the box. Upcoming boxing talents will do well to think similarly.
You can check out more articles from Ash Lall on his website: Ash's Sports Talk
Since our launch in 2017, HÖRFA have always had a strong connection to art, displayed through our popular Printed Streetwear Collection.
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Visit our website HERE. We recommend submitted artwork is in the ratio of 210x140mm/px at 300dpi in .png or .jpg format. You can go taller than 140mm/px if you wish the design to be square or portrait. If you don’t have design packages or tools available, we recommend canva.com as a useful website to use.
Email your design to [email protected] by June 30, 2020, with a few words about the inspiration and meaning behind it.
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