Top light heavyweight prospect Joshua Buatsi stayed unbeaten as a pro today in London, becoming the first man to stop Canadian veteran Ryan Ford, though with some complaints from the defeated man’s side.
Buatsi (12-0, 10 KO) got the stoppage at 1:07 of the seventh round, having won every round (at least on the BLH card) beforehand. Ford (16-5, 11 KO) was never figured to be a serious threat to actually win this fight, but he was brought in because he’s tough and durable, and has shown an ability to expose prospects before, as he did in his previous fight, a win in Germany over Serge Michel.
Buatsi, 26, may not have been lighting up the screens for six rounds, but he was in control. Ford, a 37-year-old fighter with an MMA background, did land the occasional clean right hand, particularly in the first few rounds, and gave us enough to know for sure that Buatsi, while promising, certainly still has work to do.
The end came when Buatsi hurt Ford with a body shot, then followed up with a couple more blows that put the Edmonton man on the canvas. Ford couldn’t beat the count, but did complain after all was said and done that the final shot was a low blow. ESPN’s angles didn’t show anything clear, but certainly enough to suspect he may not have been fibbing.
The jury remains out to some degree on Buatsi, as it does on any prospect who hasn’t fought world class competition yet. But he won a bronze medal at the Olympics, he certainly can punch, and he’s a legit rising name in the division. He’s still a ways off from true contention at 175, but he’s on the road.