ICYMI: After his recent knockout win, many are calling for the Fil-Brit TikTok influencer-turned-boxer Salt Papi to go pro. But who is he, exactly?
Filipino-British Salt Papi has taken news outlets and social media by storm after his knockout win over Josh Brueckner on Sunday, January 15. Anyone who has been keeping up with the boxing scene surely must have seen headlines about this already, as the news went viral almost instantly.
However, in case you didn’t realize it, he is not a professional boxer. He’s an influencer. He is relatively new to the boxing scene, so there is still a lot about him that many people in the sports community don’t know yet, but here’s what we know about the rising star so far.
1. Who is Salt Papi?
Salt Papi — whose real name is Busta Breezie — is a Fil-Brit who was born in the Philippines but moved to the United Kingdom as a teenager.
Just about to turn 29 years old next month, he rose to fame through his humorous TikTok videos that he started making early in 2021. Most popularly, he would make videos copying the way celebrity chef Salt Bae seasons his food with salt.
This is how he got his unique and memorable nickname.
Ever since he started posting videos of himself, his platform has grown, and he now has over 4.5 million followers and has gained over 125 million likes across his videos. He’s truly a social media star.
In the past, he used to publicly refer to himself as a “chubby junk food lover,” posting videos of himself in fast food restaurants like Nando’s and Five Guys. But, over time, he started to bring more attention to his love for boxing and his physical transformation.
Over the last year, he’s been boxing more and more, posting videos of himself online. Eventually, he lost 45 pounds in his fitness journey, which prepared him for his first official boxing match.
2. When did he start boxing?
Salt Papi’s first boxing match took place in March last year, where he fought against Hamad Khan, another YouTuber slash influencer.
The Fil-Brit won the fight.
Just a few months later, Busta Breezie had his second fight in KSI’s boxing event in August. Here, he faced Andy Warski in a three-round fight. However, he only needed a few seconds to end the show.
In 29 seconds, he knocked Warski to the ground. This kind of strength has put him on the radar of many boxers, both amateur and professional, which is how he started getting more well-known in the boxing community.
With this, even though KSI was the main event, this was Salt Papi’s breakout moment, as he stole the headlines and put himself on the radar. But, it was his most recent fight that really put him on the map and gained him a whole new set of followers on social media and in the boxing scene.
Most recently, he fought in his third match. And again, he brought another opponent to the ground before the match ended — this time, it was a fellow influencer, Josh Brueckner.
After the fight, Papi celebrated by wearing a Philippine flag around his shoulders. This caught huge waves, especially in the Philippines, where the boxing scene is more than vibrant, and Filipino fans are always looking for new fighters to cheer on.
With the victory, the Fil-Brit brings his overall record to 3-0, with two KOs. And for a social media influencer riding on the YouTuber boxing scene, many influencers and pro boxers alike are calling for the rising star to go pro.
3. Should he go pro?
In his fight against Brueckner, Salt Papi showed off his skill in his footwork, control, speed, and timing. With this, his first-ever knockout wasn’t just by sheer luck, and his second knockout proved his case further.
In fact, British professional boxer Sunny Edwards, placed his bets on the Filipino before the match even started. And Busta Breezie certainly proved Edwards right.
After his knockout win, social media was taken by storm. Everyone was talking about the match, about Papi’s skills, and many even called out for him to go pro — including pro boxer Ryan Garcia.
However, whether Salt Papi decides to go professional or not remains to be seen. As of now, it looks like he’s still keeping his sights on the “crossover boxing” scene, hoping to fight one of the biggest boxer-influencers, Jake Paul.
Regardless, the rising TikTok star is definitely one to watch.
Who would you want to see him fight next?
Banner image from Salt Papi on Instagram.