- By Riyah Collins
- BBC News
We’re seeing more and more influencers stepping into the boxing ring, but recently we’ve seen more of Daniella Hemsley than we bargained for.
The OnlyFans star showed off her boobs in celebration after defeating Aleksandra Daniel in Dublin.
She apologized and insisted that the nipple tassels under her blouse had come unstuck, but boxing pros and promoter Eddie Hearn they lined up to criticize her.
They say it has undermined years of female progress in the sport.
The popularity of women’s boxing has grown considerably since it was first allowed at the 2012 Olympics.
More recently, influencer boxing has seen a similar rise, with some of social media’s biggest stars coming to blows in pay-per-view bouts.
Opinions are divided: some people think it brings more fans to the sport, but others say this is at the expense of professional boxers who have trained for years.
One person who thinks internet personalities like Daniella are being “revved up” at high-profile events is Sameenah Toussaint.
When she started boxing at age 10, she was the only girl in the gym.
Now 20 years old, she has since competed in the Commonwealth Games and now trains with Team GB.
As a child, she was inspired by the likes of Nicola Adams and Katie Taylor, but worries that girls growing up now don’t have similar role models.
In his opinion, what happened after Saturday’s game was “laughing at the sport.”
“We need positive influences, not influencers,” he tells BBC Newsbeat.
“They are meant to admire these boxers in the ring.
“What they represent is not what should be shown.”
‘Let boxing do the talking’
Elise Glynn, 21, is taking the boxing world by storm and has her eyes set on next year’s Olympic Games in Paris.
Like Sameenah, it has taken a lot of hard work.
“I started boxing at the age of 13,” says Elise. from Solihull, near Birmingham.
“And when I started they told me to get out of the gym because I was a woman.”
She thinks that what happened on Saturday is not “a good example for young women who want to box.”
“They’re looking at this and thinking, ‘Should I be like this? Do I need to act like this to get noticed in boxing?’
“I think young girls should let boxing do the talking.”
Some in the industry have championed influencer boxing, especially when big names like Jake Paul and KSI have been involved.
Northern Irish boxer Michael Conlan told BBC Sport he could “understand” the surprise, but the fights were “entertainment and we are in the entertainment business”.
Sameenah admits that influencers can interest fans in boxing.
“There are definitely positive impacts,” she says.
But what pains Sameenah is how difficult it can still be for women to get recognized professionally.
“We work hard to get women’s boxing there,” she says. “We are not yet equal to men, but we are getting there.”
Both she and Elise are eager to inspire more women and girls to get involved in boxing.
“I think all young women should try with a dream,” Elise said.
“Even if it’s not to meet the top-level game, I think it’s good for anyone to learn and make friends.”