It was announced Wednesday morning that unbeaten light heavyweight contender Joshua Buatsi (16-0, 13 KOs) has signed an exclusive deal with BOXXER and Sky Sports, which will be invested in the Buatsi name for the considerable future. The England-based Ghanaian will return to the ring on May 6 at Resorts World Arena in Birmingham.
Although some have called for this matchup, it will not be against WBA “Super” light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol. Buatsi’s trainer, Virgil Hunter, is very keen on the 30-year-old, comparing him to two-division titlist and Hall of Famer Andre Ward, whom Hunter trained from the outset of his pro career. Hunter, however, stated 10 months ago that his fighter was not ready for Bivol or undisputed super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez.
BOXXER CEO & Founder Ben Shalom said, “We’re incredibly proud and excited to welcome Joshua Buatsi to the BOXXER stable. He is an exemplary role model and one of the most talented fighters we have in this country.” Shalom continued, “Buatsi wants the biggest fights possible in front of the largest possible audience to achieve his unlimited potential. He feels he wants to make up for lost time, and we’re looking forward to sharing this journey with him as he sets out to bring major nights and titles to Britain.”
It will be interesting to see who Buatsi fights next. From my perspective, we could see Buatsi fight Dan Azeez (19-0, 13 KOs). The 33-year-old is coming off a 12th-round TKO of Thomas Faure last Saturday to win the European 175-pound title in Paris. And not only is Azeez aligned with BOXXER, but he is also calling for the encounter himself.
“Whether he signed or not, if we’re going to fight, we’re going to fight,” Azeez said of Buatsi via BoxingScene.com.
“From day one, when we were just starting out, he would say, ‘come on man, if we get offered the right amount, you know we will do this.’ It’s not the first time old friends are going to fight, and it won’t be the last. If it’s right, then it’s right.
“I take it as a compliment because, you see when I was coming up, I was shit. I wasn’t a good amateur, but Joshua Buatsi was flying. He’s someone I proper learned from. But now they’re putting us on the same level, and rightly so because I’ve earned it. Even he says I’ve worked my way up, ‘well done, Dan.’ He’s seen it from the beginning; let’s see where it goes now.”
Both men are late bloomers to the game and are on a quest to win a world title as soon as possible, but a clash is inevitable.
Joshua Buatsi has not fought since last May 21 at The O2 Arena in London, where he picked up a 12-round unanimous decision triumph over former title contender Craig Richards.