KSI wasn’t surprised when Salt Papi’s hype train crashed into a brick wall.
Salt Papi, whose real name is Nathaniel Bustamante, saw his undefeated boxing run screech to a halt at Misfits Boxing 7 when he suffered a unanimous decision loss in a three-round bout with Anthony Taylor.
Considering the hype around Salt Papi’s skills and the fact that Taylor had a losing record as a professional boxer, it was a somewhat shocking result for the influencer boxing scene. But the Misfits Boxing founder wasn’t as stunned by the result.
“First of all, he messed up by doing three rounds,” KSI said recently of Salt Papi on The MMA Hour. “That was his choice.
“Three rounds favored Anthony Taylor, so I didn’t really understand why he wanted to do three rounds. Because for him, especially [against] Anthony Taylor, like, all [Taylor] needed to do is just do his tactic and make it rough and dirty for three rounds, and then he’s out and it’s easy. However, he couldn’t do that with a long period of time, with several rounds.”
“I think the tactics were wrong as well from Salt Papi,” KSI continued. “All Anthony Taylor did was cross over. He just crossed his legs and then came through with a punch and then clinched. It’s like an MMA move, and he just kept doing it, and Salt Papi wasn’t able to get his timing off. And by the time Salt Papi was maybe getting close, it was too late because it was round three. So again, that messed up with the whole timing.”
Prior to Taylor’s upset, Salt Papi was generally considered one of the influencer scene’s most skilled combatants following a string of highlight-reel performances. His brutal knockout of MMA fighter and previously undefeated boxer Josh Brueckner drew high praise from boxers Ryan Garcia and Sunny Edwards, both of whom suggested the 29-year-old had the skills to potentially be able to make a career as a legitimate professional boxer.
In an interview on The MMA Hour prior to the Taylor fight, Salt Papi put only KSI and Jake Paul ahead of himself in a hypothetical ranking of influencer boxers, and predicted he’d face both men before he hung up his gloves for good. “When they fight me, it’s going to be a chess match,” he said. “They’re not going to charge on me. They know what I can do.”
Hearing that kind of talk baffled KSI.
“I think with Salt Papi — Salt Papi is a decent fighter, and I think he just got super hyped up, to the point where people were being like, ‘KSI and Salt Papi,’ putting me on the same level. And I’m like, ‘Guys, do you not understand who I am?’” KSI said.
“I’m looking at this, and I’m looking at [Misfits Boxing co-president] Mams [Taylor] like, ‘Mams, am I going crazy? Should I fight this guy? Do I actually need to fight this guy and obliterate him to show everyone the levels?’ Because with [FaZe] Temperrr, everyone was like, ‘Oh, I don’t know, KSI might struggle with him,’ and then I just deleted him. And then Joe Fournier — deleted him. And now with Tommy Fury, everyone’s saying Tommy Fury is going to destroy me. People are saying me and Jake Paul — Jake Paul’s above me, Tommy Fury is going to absolutely annihilate me because Jake struggled to beat Tommy Fury.
“Like I have no chance,” KSI continued. “And I’m there like, do you not understand or know who I am? I’m not a guy that’s just going to go in and just lose. I don’t lose. I literally made the doc where it’s called ‘Can’t Lose,’ because I just physically cannot fathom losing. So yeah, for me, I’m just there like, there’s a lot of noise, there’s a lot of noise, and I just have to try not to be on Twitter and say too much. But yeah, I try to hold myself in a lot.”