YouTube star KSI announced he would be taking two fights when he returns to boxing on August 27 — but his new opponent is coming under fire for having a tattoo that says “white power.”
KSI has faced a slew of difficulties scheduling his highly-anticipated comeback match on August 27.
At first, KSI was slated to face off against American YouTuber Alex Wassabi in the main event… but mere weeks out from fight night, Wassabi pulled out due to an alleged concussion.
Luckily, KSI had a backup opponent in his contract and is instead taking on British rapper ‘Swarmz’ — but on August 16, the YouTuber upped the ante in an unexpected way.
KSI’s opponent blasted over controversial tattoo
Now, KSI is fighting two opponents, adding Bulgarian pro boxer Ivan Nikolov to the fray. Although this development came as a surprise to fans, another issue has arisen in just 24 hours after Nikolov’s addition to the card.
Fans were quick to notice an offensive tattoo on the Bulgarian boxer’s midsection, which reads “white power” in big, elaborate lettering.
Viewers criticized Nikolov’s tattoo on social media, prompting the middleweight fighter to publish a statement on social media in response to the issue.
In his reply, Nikolov argued that the tattoo “has absolutely no relevance to an outdated opinion and simply refers to my own belief in my strength and power as an athlete.”
“I have no criminal record, or involvement with the police, regarding any racial issues,” he added. “I now understand how the tattoo can be misinterpreted, but I passionately distance myself from any other meaning it may have other than representing my force as a competitor.”
KSI has yet to give his reply to the issue at the time of writing, but his fans are certainly concerned, taking to his subreddit to point out several other allegedly racist tattoos on the fighter’s body — including some ink that says “white madness” on the top of Nikolov’s head.
For now, it looks as though KSI vs Nikolov is still set to go at the end of the month until further information is released.