Joshua Buatsi teased a potential clash with unbeaten countryman Dan Azeez upon signing with BOXXER earlier this year, which has now become reality. He tells Sky Sports that he’s signed to face Azeez “hopefully” in October.
The pair sit at no. 1 and no. 2 in the WBA rankings, meaning the winner will almost certainly be in line to challenge Dmitry Bivol.
Buatsi (17-0, 13 KO) has quite a bit to prove at the moment. He looked masterful in his mauling of Ricards Bolotniks three fights back, but followed that up with a narrow win over Craig Richards and a somewhat underwhelming decision against Pawel Stepien. He needs to impress here if he wants to be seen as a credible threat.
And also to, you know, not embarrass Ben Shalom the way Lawrence Okolie did.
Azeez (20-0, 13 KO) has smashed his way through the domestic scene, racking up knockouts of Reece Cartwright, Shakan Pitters, and Rocky Fielding before claiming the stopping Thomas Faure for the European title in March. He stayed busy over the weekend with an eight-round decision over durable journeyman Khalid Graidia.
This is a very strong matchup that will propel the winner onto the world stage. I’m here for it.