Joshua Buatsi is leaning towards a domestic battle with Dan Azeez or Anthony Yarde

Joshua Buatsi triumphantly returned to action last night in Birmingham with a unanimous-decision victory over Poland’s Pawel Stepien. 

Talk immediately turned toward, who is next for the 17-0 light heavyweight? We saw fights fall through with Jean Pascal and Dmitry Bivol as Buatsi switched promoters. 

“I’m happy to be back out man.” Buatsi said in an interview for ProBox TV News. “The atmosphere was good. Fair play to him, he knew how to survive. I’m very happy to be out again after nearly a year out. I’m not even from Brum, so thank you so much to all the Birmingham guys.

“I want to be back out in July or August, I want a quick turnover. Domestic or international, I don’t mind, but I want a big fight man. I need a fight that will take my rankings up and push me in the right direction.”

Domestic options are plenty for Buatsi. Former world title challenger Anthony Yarde has been requested by the British boxing fans. European champion and stable mate Dan Azeez is another option for the former Olympian. 

“I think it has been the right time for a long time.” Buatsi responded to the notion of facing Anthony Yarde. “Interest is still there, but like I said and I’ve been saying it all week that I have a long time. Lets just hope that when we turn 40, we don’t say, damn I never fought Anthony Yarde.

“Dan [Azeez] just came to my changing room after. They came to do an interview thing asking who is number 1. I said ‘ask Dan, ask him where he ranks me.’ We are all friendly but we know that if the right things are put infront of us we will fight each other.”

Buatsi stated before his return last night that he is willing to run the gauntlet with the winner of Artur Beterbiev and Callum Smith.

“It’s a good fight, I’m as eager as you to watch it.” Buatsi said with a smile on his face. “I want to see who is going to win. The world title belts are tied up in my division at the moment, what’s next for me is to box as soon as possible. I will travel to the States very soon and start camp again. There is more to learn and more to show you.”

Buatsi put in a commanding performance against Stepien, but failed to flatter his potential ability. 

“Of course I wanted to knock him out.” Buatsi added. “Of course I want to put on a show, but ultimately it is to get a win. It was an okay performance, it was good for me to be back out. I got a good 10 rounds in with a good opponent. People look on the surface and think he is rubbish, but if you do a bit of research he is a good opponent. You make all these assumptions before you get in the ring, but you get in there plans change. Let’s not go over the narrative that he came to cover up and survive. He came to win, but when you start touching someone and start out boxing and landing more than them the whole balance and energy changes.”