Geordie Shore vs Love Island: Aaron Chalmers fights Idris Virgo in Newcastle influencer boxing bout

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The internet phenomenon of 'influencer boxing' has selected Newcastle for the next fight with Aaron Chalmers headlining alongside Idris Virgo.

Streaming to millions worldwide and filling arenas across the globe, influencers are entering the ring to settle online disputes with other social media stars.

Under boxing promoter company Misfits, eight bouts between young people who have found fame online will take place at Newcastle's Vertu Arena on 23 September. The fight is the ninth event in the X SERIES.

It follows a spectacular debut viewership which amassed over 33 million views on the streaming service DAZN, plus 7.5 million TikTok views and 20m Snapchat views.

However, the main attraction is a 'Geordie Shore vs. Love Island' showdown, featuring Aaron Chalmers and Idris Virgo who both appeared on the reality TV programmes. Both men have competed in professional boxing fights before, with a solid competitive background behind them.

Chalmers, 36, from Kenton in Newcastle is returning to the ring fresh off the back of taking on world boxing champion Floyd Mayweather in an exhibition fight at the O2 Arena in London on 25 February.

Chalmers found fame as a cast member on MTV's reality show Geordie Shore, which was based on the nightlife and relationships of young people in Newcastle. He starred in the cast of the eighth series and left the show after season 16. 

He returned to reality television in 2017 as the ex of Maisie Gillespie, on MTV's Ex on the Beach.

Since then, he has trained and competed as a professional fighter in both MMA and boxing disciplines.

Speaking to ITV Tyne Tees ahead of the fight, Chalmers said he is full of motivation: "I took a lot of confidence from the Floyd fight like my thing in that fight was to not get finished, I managed all eight rounds with one of the best in the world, one of the best ever. That gave me a kick up the bum to get in the gym to enjoy what I've got left in my career".

Chalmers says the sport should be respected for what it is, regardless of who is taking part.

"It takes a lot to get into the ring in front of a big crowd cos you're putting yourself on a pedestal to fail really. Anything can happen, one punch and you're knocked out. Especially these influencers, they have millions of followers but it could go really bad for them so I do think they take it seriously"

Trailblazer KSI kickstarted the trend in August 2018, when he faced YouTuber Logan Paul at the Manchester Arena. Credit: MF & DAZN: X Series 009

His opponent Virgo found fame as a contestant on Love Island Season 4. He already has a professional boxing career under his belt going unbeaten in 12 fights. He is looking to make it 13-0 in front of Chalmers' home crowd.

"I've been on Love Island, that's pressure," Virgo told ITV Tyne Tees. "I've dealt with that so there's no pressure at all. I'm going to go into Aaron Chalmers back yard and get booed by his fans, I know that. But I love it. I'm going to make his fans my fans, I can't wait."

Like Chalmers, Virgo was also keen to defend influencer boxing and directly called out former world champion Carl Froch to join him in the ring in the series. He believes influencers are helping the sport grow and adapt to more modern audiences.

"These influencers are taking this seriously," he explained. "You have got to train because you are going in there and fighting people who can take your head off, you can't just ask the referee to stop the fight.

"Influencers now have the resources so they do train and they have the right nutritionists and I think it is changing boxing in a good way."

Idris Virgo, who found fame on ITV's Love Island, has a 12-0 professional boxing record. Credit: MF & DAZN: X Series 009

Influencer boxing first took off in 2018 thanks to a fight between YouTubers KSI and Logan Paul. It has gone on to amass over a billion views worldwide and the Brit was in Newcastle to help promote the bout between Chalmers and Virgo.

"Whether I'm fighting, promoting or behind the scenes I want to really push this space and show there is another side to influencer boxing," he said. "There's the professional route, and what we do is professional, but what we do is a bit more on the entertainment side.

"I love Newcastle, especially the nights out. Everyone is always having a good time and everyone I meet is so friendly and nice.

"It was sick to be able to bring a misfit event here."

The undercard for the Chalmers vs Virgo gets underway at 7pm with the main event expected on stage at the Vertu Arena at around 10pm.

Misfits x Dazn 009 full card:

  • Idris Virgo vs Aaron Chalmers

  • Thomas Oliveira vs Ginty

  • Ashley Tebi vs Hamad Khan

  • Gabriel Silva vs Ben Davis

  • Callum Izzard vs Okemka Jibunor

  • A. Bunker vs A. del Busso

  • Pully Arif vs Jay Chris

  • Carla Jade vs Tasha Kiran

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