Buatsi unsure how Beterbiev-Smith plays out

Joshua Buatsi has made it clear he wants to fight for the WBA light-heavyweight world title, after he is victorious on February 3 against Dan Azeez in a London showdown at Wembley’s OVO Arena. 

Buatsi currently lays claim to the No.1 contender spot per the WBA rankings. The current WBA champion is Dmitrii Bivol. 

This weekend there’s a significant fight in the division when IBF, WBO, and WBC champion Artur Beterbiev faces Callum Smith. The winner should land an undisputed fight with Bivol in Saudi Arabia or, at least, that is what is believed to be happening. 

“Beterbiev and Smith fight this weekend, interesting to see whether Beterbiev wins,” said Buatsi, weighing up the fight. “Has [Beterbiev] aged overnight? Or does Smith beat him?” 

The outcome could have major implications for Buatsi’s future. If Smith were to upset Beterbiev, new options could materialize. 

“I have no idea [of the outcome], and I have noticed with [fight predictions] that I am not the best at guessing,” Buatsi smiled. “I can only guess a fight when I am involved with it. When I am not involved with it, it is quite hard to call.”

Buatsi, who is 17-0, with 13 wins by way of stoppage, is 30-years-old and regarded as one of the most interesting emerging faces in a division in need of new talent. 

The division has been top-heavy for a long time. Since Andre Ward retired, Beterbiev and Bivol have become the two best fighters. Buasti is now ready to be the leader of the next generation at 175lbs.

“The next generation of fighters is waiting, and it has been a long time, but I have stayed consistent,” Buatsi said. “Azeez, my next guy, will be someone to get through to make sure I am next in line.”