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Joshua Buatsi looking to become first man to stop Ryan Ford

Joshua Buatsi is considered a big prospect at 175, and he wants to make a statement on Saturday.

Anthony Joshua vs. Andy Ruiz Jr Photo By Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Top light heavyweight prospect Joshua Buatsi returns this Saturday, facing Canadian veteran Ryan Ford on the Lomachenko-Campbell card in London, which will stream live on ESPN+.

There’s really no huge worry that the highly-touted Buatsi (11-0, 9 KO) will lose to the 37-year-old Ford (16-4, 11 KO). The Edmonton native comes in with a handful of losses in his career, and the 26-year-old Buatsi will be a big favorite.

But Ford is coming off of a solid win, knocking out then-unbeaten 2016 Olympian Serge Michel in April in Germany, and Ford has never been stopped.

Buatsi, who won bronze at Rio 2016, where Michel was eliminated in the first round, is taking it as a challenge to get Ford out before the distance.

“In terms of durability this is a good test for me because he has never been stopped before,” Buatsi said. “He is an ex-MMA fighter who’s 20 fights in with 16 wins and he likes to throw a lot of punches with a lot of weight behind them. It’s up to me to make sure that I’m not in front of him when he’s throwing them shots, to counter him and do what I do best which is to win.”

Ford’s losses have all come over a 12-round distance, and were all on the road, two in Russia against Fedor Chudinov and Andrey Sirotkin, and two in Germany against Avni Yildirim and Nick Hannig. He’s been in with solid opposition.

“If I can get him out of there it will be a good statement,” Buatsi said. “If I can be the first name on that list it’s a good sign. As always, first and foremost the most important thing is to win and getting the win is main focus. If the stoppage comes, beautiful.”