Joshua Buatsi-Dan Azeez winner wanted by Oleksandr Gvozdyk

The British and Commonwealth light heavyweight title fight between Dan Azeez and Joshua Buatsi will have an interested spectator in former WBC champion Oleksandr Gvozdyk.

South London friends-come-rivals Azeez and Buatsi put their undefeated records on the line at Wembley Arena in what is also an eliminator for the WBA title held by Dmitrii Bivol, and Gvozdyk – who won three fights in 2023 after almost three-and-a-half years’ inactivity following his defeat by Bivol’s rival Artur Beterbiev – wants to fight the winner.

“Last year was a comeback year for me but now I’m ready for a title fight,” Gvozdyk told ProBox TV. “Beterbiev and Bivol will fight for the undisputed later this year, which is okay. Until then, give me the top guys. Give me the winner of Azeez-Buatsi.

“They are number one and number two in the WBA. I’m number three.

“They said Beterbiev-Bivol happens in June, which I personally don’t believe. I think it will happen around September. Then if Buatsi is fighting Azeez, I can fight the winner. I’m going to fight some guy in March, then let’s make it happen. Maybe in June or on the [Beterbiev-Bivol] undercard, it would be great. If I fight the winner then we will automatically be in line for the undisputed title.”

Before his move from Matchroom to BOXXER, Buatsi, 30, had been in contention to challenge Bivol. He has long been friends with Azeez, and to the extent he sparred him as recently as March in an attempt to help the 34 year old prepare for his successful European title fight with Thomas Faure of France.

“Quite honestly, I only know about Azeez from reading the news,” continued Gvozdyk, 36 and from Ukraine. “I haven’t seen any of his fights; not even any highlights. I can’t really take all the good rumours seriously that I have heard about him. 

“Buatsi is a good solid fighter. With his Olympic experience, I would probably bet on Buatsi. But again, I’m not sure because I don’t know much about Azeez.

“Azeez looks a bit shorter than Buatsi. But, I’m ready to fight anyone now. You never quite know what is going to happen when they get in the ring. It is at light heavyweight where everyone can punch – even those people that are not considered punchers, they can still knock you out because they are pretty heavy. 

“Everyone has a chance in this weight division. I’m not too concerned with who wins, I want the winner, I can adapt to any style. After my career, I feel like I can fight anyone. The badder the opponent the better.”