Joshua Buatsi was the king of the 2016 Olympics in Rio. The Olympic silver medalist was all the talk of each and every Olympic stream as his name was adorned by glowing praise. Now seven years later, Buatsi is moving on from his previous promoter, Matchroom Boxing, as he has taken a deal with Boxxer and Sky Sports to broadcast and promote his future fights.
First up for the undefeated light heavyweight Buatsi is Pawel Stepien after the Buatsi-Stepien Undercard. Stepien might not be a household name, but he was set to fight Callum Smith earlier this year before an injury forced Smith out of the fight. Now it is Buatsi, who is fighting the undefeated world-ranked challenger.
“What's the point of the fight,” reflected Buatsi. ”I think mainly [it] is for me to keep active, [and I am facing] a good opponent to be fair.”
Buatsi Hopes for Change With New Promoter and Network After Rough Last Few Years
The last few years have been rough for Buatsi, and his words echo that. Since 2020, Buatsi has fought four times. Though his division is not the most stacked and might be the most top-heavy in the sport at large, the excitement around Buatsi made his lack of ring time that much more notable. Now it seems, Buatsi believes that with a new promoter, and network things might change.
For those unaware, the World Series of Boxing was a form of international competition that was invite-only and saw representatives of different nations compete. To be invited to such an event would mean you were able to fight in international competition which is the highest form of amateur boxing. Thus, Stepien by default is a very experienced fighter, who just isn’t well known.
“If you're agreeing to fight Callum Smith, you know, you must have some ambition there,” said Buatsi.
That is very true, as Callum Smith is probably the third-best fighter in the light heavyweight division behind the unified world champion Artur Beterbiev who holds the WBC, WBO, and IBF light heavyweight world titles, and Dmitry Bivol who is the long-reigning WBA light heavyweight champion. After those two, it is anyone’s guess who is the next man up, and for Stepien to take a fight with Smith and now Buatsi essentially shows his self-belief in where he sits in the division.
Buatsi's Future Fights
The names Dan Azeez and Anthony Yarde have both been mentioned as future opponents for Joshua Buatsi, especially since Buatsi signed a deal with Boxxer which broadcasts their events on Sky Sports. Both Azeez and Yarde fight on this platform meaning that if Buatsi is successful, either of these light heavyweight contenders could be next for the recent signee.
“I know them both [of them] Azeez a lot more than Yarde But their fights that if they're presented and the numbers are right, I wouldn't say no,” said Buatsi about facing an either opponent in the future. “I'd like to think they wouldn't say no. Callum Smith is also there, Craig Richards is there, [who Buatsi recently defeated], and Lyndon Arthur.”
Buatsi Aims to Challenge Legends and Become a Legend Himself
Going head-to-head, albeit not exactly, but fighting on the same day as Canelo Alvarez is less than ideal. Yet, Buatsi is looking to be the young and emerging star to challenge the legends of today, to make himself a legend of tomorrow. The first step to becoming a legend is doing something legendary.
Buatsi, or at least for those that believe in his ability needs to look like a franchise player, a capital G Guy. Buatsi in his debut on Boxxer needs to live up to the expectation set forth, as the man who flys from the United Kingdom to train at Virgil Hunter’s Gym in Hayward, California, this is his first step into getting himself into those huge fights he has dreamed of.
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