Buatsi: BOXXER can deliver fight with Yarde

Joshua Buatsi believes that Saturday’s fight with Dan Azeez and the prospect of fighting Anthony Yarde has vindicated his decision to leave Matchroom for BOXXER.

The 30 year old, at Wembley Arena, fights his long-term friend and sparring partner for the British and Commonwealth light heavyweight titles and in an eliminator for the WBA title held by Russia’s Dmitrii Bivol.

Saturday’s fight represents his biggest since his acrimonious departure from Matchroom, and in the event of victory – Buatsi has described the 34-year-old Azeez as his toughest opponent yet – he hopes he could yet fight his domestic rival Yarde on an occasion that could prove even more high-profile.

If Buatsi-Azeez is, given their respective homes of Croydon and Lewisham, the fight to establish the finest light heavyweight in south London, Buatsi-Yarde – Yarde is from Hackney – could prove the finest from the English capital, and Buatsi said: “It was a move that I felt was going to be right for me at that time, and to now I’m happy about that. Here I am again, in a big domestic fight, but for a final eliminator, so what can I complain about?  

“[I expect more] big fights like this. Bigger and bigger and bigger. Bigger and better, man. It’s up from here, and of course, them being in partnership with Sky Sports means it will be on platforms where the most eyeballs are on. As an athlete, what more could you want? 

“Things not going [Matchroom’s] way, I didn’t expect to hear any positive comments. [The negative reaction was] not surprising.  

“I’d like to think I’m quite fair. Everything came to an end and it was time for me to move on. Yeah, it didn’t favour my previous promoter because they want to keep you and do this and do that, but as fighters you have to put yourself first. You have to position yourself where it’s going to benefit you. Your career is once; the promoter has many, many, many boxers’ careers in the palm of his hands. I don’t like to be on bad terms with anyone – I’m not saying I’m on bad terms with Matchroom, because however they feel towards me, that’s on them. I have no feelings towards them. This [BOXXER] is where I’m at now.”

It was in March – when he last sparred Azeez – that Buatsi left Matchroom. He then defeated Pawel Stepien of Poland, before the original date of October 21 for the fight with Azeez was postponed when his opponent suffered a back injury.

Yarde fights Serbia’s Marko Nikolic on February 10, and on the prospect of them fighting later in 2024, Buatsi said: “From the move that I’ve made, BOXXER have shown that they’re willing to work with other promoters. 

“They’ve shown that and I think they’ve they’ve worked with [Frank] Warren before, because [Joseph] Parker and [Joe] Joyce was a Warren and BOXXER show. The promoters that I’ve got now have shown that actually they’re willing to work with other promoters.”