KSI has planned to fight two opponents on the same night on Aug. 27 in London, one being rapper Swarmz and the other being a journeyman boxer named Ivan Nikolov, a 43-year-old Bulgarian who has a record of 3-16-2 (0 KO). But there’s now some major controversy about the latter opponent dealing with racist tattoos on his body.
YouTuber Kavos posted a video with some looks at Nikolov’s tattoos, with the biggest and most obvious one being a “White Power” tattoo across his stomach. There are others, too, which are known neo-Nazi symbolism. There’s really no room for debate on any of this.
Nikolov fought Daniel Blenda dos Santos in Apr. 2021 in France, and dos Santos reportedly commented on the tattoos at that time:
30yr old super middleweight Daniel Blenda Dos Santos (15-0, 8 KO's) quickly KO's Ivan Nikolov (3-10-2) in Oise, France then says, "When I saw his tattoos, some of them racist in nature [neo-nazi], I wanted to hurt him. I am not disappointed to have had [a short fight]" pic.twitter.com/gwtVIka0Zk— Tim Boxeo (@TimBoxeo) April 25, 2021
The basic expectation here will be for KSI and the event organizers to remove Nikolov from the event in short order. I’m fairly certain their team didn’t know about any of this before signing him for the fight, with the only even possible reason to suspect that they did being they were waiting for bad press to come out, and “all press is good press,” etc.
But I really doubt it. This does nothing for the event — Nikolov does nothing for the event in the first place, and could be very easily replaced by any number of Europe’s available journeyman boxers if they want to stick to the “two fights” gimmick to sell this thing.
DAZN are currently scheduled to air the event via pay-per-view.