Joshua Buatsi may have missed out on a November clash with Maxim Vlasov due to a hand injury, but he’ll still face a stern test in his next outing, as Matchroom announced today that he’ll meet countryman Craig Richards on May 21st.
Though he had more issues than expected against Marko Calic in his sole 2020 effort, Buatsi (15-0, 13 KO) returned to form last year with dominant victories over Daniel Blenda dos Santos and Ricards Bolotniks. His efforts earned him top-five rankings in all four sanctioning bodies, and a win here could easily lead to either a title shot or final eliminator.
“Two London boys coming together, it’s going to be a huge night,” said Buatsi. “The Light-Heavyweight scene in this country is thriving and I’m glad that we are able to get one of the biggest fights made.
The crowd is going to be in for a treat. I am coming to win and nothing else, I am sure Richards is doing the same. He had a close fight with Bivol so will want to make things straight, but I have other plans. Win well and then push onto the World Title by any means necessary.”
“Spider” Richards (17-2-1, 10 KO) claimed the British title by knocking out Shakan Pitters in 2020, setting up a crack at WBA champ Dmitry Bivol. Despite ultimately falling short, he gave Bivol a significantly tougher out than expected, and he’s since returned to the win column with a TKO finish of Marek Matyja in October.
“We’re two top-tier fighters from the UK,” said Richards. “This is one of the biggest London domestic clashes for a long time. This is a very exciting fight for us both, but also one the fans will enjoy. Buatsi has got his plans and I’m sure he be well prepared, but nobody is going to stop me from fulfilling my destiny of becoming a World Champion! He is a solid competitor and will be coming to win, but I am confident and believe I have the tools to get the job done. I proved myself at world level and I’m eager to prove that’s where I belong.”