LAWRENCE (KSNT) – Next Saturday, Creator Clash 2 will pit social media influencers from around the country against each other as they compete in one of the biggest charity events of the year.
One of those set to compete in the Tampa, Florida event will represent not only the Midwest, but Kansas as a whole.
Watching Jaelyn Ray practice, you wouldn’t be able to tell the 22-year-old Tiktoker never put on the gloves before last fall.
“I thought I’d still be just playing video games at home,” Ray said. “Definitely not boxing 6 days a week.”
Ray herself, who goes by Jaelaray online, is a Kansas native; growing up in Winchester, Kansas. On Tiktok, she has over 400,000 followers, and nearly 19 million likes.
“I just play video games online for a living,” Ray said. “4 hours a day streaming on Twitch, playing whatever games I can.”
An online influencer, her coach originally swore off training people like Ray for athletic competitions, such as the Creator Clash. Through her dedication however, the Coach is now singing a different tune.
“Jae is my boxer, she’s my fighter,” Jaelaray’s Coach Daniel Barajas said. “Put in a lot of hard work, didn’t know anything before she came in, and now she’s part of who I call my elite crew.”
Last year the first Creator Clash saw 18 creators compete, raising over a million dollars for charity. This year, where those funds will go really hits home for Ray.
“Back in the beginning of this, my grandmother was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer,” Ray said. “It’s just been something I’ve had to deal with and my family has had to deal with through this whole thing.”
Ray is the only competitor representing the Midwest at the Clash. Going by the title “The Kansas Killer” for Creator Clash 2, showing pride for her state on the big stage means a lot to the young boxer.
“I want being a Kansan and being from the Midwest to be a big deal,” Ray said. “A lot of LA fighters, there’s some East Coast fighters, big people on the coasts. But someone’s got to represent the middle.”
She’s got some words of encouragement for any creative looking to make their way in the entertainment or content creator space.
“You don’t need to be in LA to make it on a streaming platform,” Ray said. “You don’t need to be near a beach to make it on Tiktok. You can do it anywhere. You can do it in a cornfield – it doesn’t matter!”
You can cheer on the Kansas Killer when she competes in Creator Clash 2 next Saturday. Pay per view tickets are available now, and all sales go to charity.