Joshua Buatsi: It Has Never Crossed My Mind Fighting Canelo

Joshua Buatsi Set to Make Boxxer Debut Against Pawel Stepien 

2016 Olympic silver medalist from team Great Britain, light-heavyweight Joshua Buatsi will make his Boxxer debut, on Sky Sports, on Saturday, May 6 when he faces Pawel Stepien

Buatsi, who spent his camp in Hayward, California, training at Virgil Hunter’s Boxing Gym, is looking to start his relationship with Boxxer off with a bang. Stepien had originally been set to face Callum Smith on March 11, prior to Smith getting injured. 

Though many might delight over one of the more promising British fighters in some time getting a chance to emerge in the light-heavyweight division, Buatsi will go head-to-head fighting on the same night Canelo Alvarez takes on John Ryder in Mexico. As for Buatsi, the idea of facing Canelo up until this point has never been one thing he has thought about. 

“It hasn't crossed my mind,” said Buatsi, when asked if he might ever face Canelo Alvarez at one point in his career. “I mean, when he boxed [Dmitry] Bivol, again there was talks saying ‘you could be an option, Josh’ or ‘you could be this or you could be that.’ It [was always] it ‘could, could, could’, and that is all that stuff I don’t like.”

Buatsi Focused on Becoming Mandatory Challenger for World Title

On late Wednesday evening in the Bay Area, working with Jeff Rael, who is one of the emerging coaches in all of California, Buatsi furthered his sentiment. The former amateur star is currently ranked No. 1 by the WBA, No. 2 by the WBC, No. 2 by the WBO and No. 13 by IBF. It seems to be clear that if Buatsi keeps winning, a title is near.

“Let me get the fights in, let me be the mandatory so the champions have to face me,” said Buatsi, who is tired of hearing the what-ifs in the sport of boxing. “[I want] The champion [to have to] say, ‘oh, this guy's next, not he's an option,’ that option stuff… I don't like it…The honest answer is I haven’t even sat down to think, ‘Oh, you're gonna cross paths [with Canelo Alvarez one day].’ I’m just concentrating on first and foremost major steps getting out there. Get the ball rolling. I want to be as active as I can be. And again, I've got good rankings all across the board, so my aim is to be mandatory to fight for a [world] title.”

Despite fighting on the same night as Canelo and admitting that he won’t see Canelo’s fight live, Buatsi did share some insight given Canelo has wanted to rematch the current WBA world champion Bivol. Buatsi is currently the top contender for Bivol’s title. 

“That's the same night I'm fighting,” said Buatsi with a smile. “[John] Ryder is a fellow Brit fighting and I'm always going to support that. If a Brit is fighting anyone else, [I am going to cheer for them] and wish them all the best.”