Joshua Buatsi are aiming for a head-on collision against Dmitry Bivol this autumn, after they saw domestic rival Craig Richards in a thriller at the O2 Arena last weekend.
The 29-year-old showed courage, perseverance and ultimately the talent we all knew he possessed as he fought for a unanimous decisive victory over his South London counterpart.
The fight was promoted as a title eliminator for Dmitry Bivol’s WBA (Super) light heavyweight belt, with the winner progressing towards the unenviable task of facing off. Canelo Alvarezthe recent conqueror of.
Joshua Buatsi (right) went undefeated with a win over Craig Richards (left) last weekend
The 29-year-old is now aiming for a fight against WBA (Super) champion Dmitry Bivol (left), who defeated Canelo Alvarez (right) earlier in the month.
Olympian Buatsi, who went undefeated on 16 professional trips with the victory, now insists that the Russian – who became a sudden star after his sparkling performance in Las Vegas – is his immediate target.
“That’s what I’m after,” he told Sportsmail about an attack on Bivol. ‘It’s a question of whether that battle can be fought.
‘That was kind of the reward for whoever won the fight, so of course I’m open to it and hopefully I can get it.’
Buatsi, who has revealed that he is looking to leave either in September or October, admits that he has so far not properly analyzed the Russian’s action against Canelo.
Bivol was mistakenly positioned as the overwhelming underdog going into the fight, with Canelo then undefeated since his 2013 defeat against Floyd Mayweather, a match that took place when he was just 23.
The fast-paced Russian proved too big, too strong and ultimately too good for the Mexican on a fateful night, with Canelo since he announced he would fall back to middleweight – where he is the undisputed champion – for a third bout against Gennady. Golovkin.
With an immediate rematch now out of the question, the coast is perhaps clear for Buatsi to face Bivol, though the Russian will no doubt be watching closely as WBC and IBF champion Artur Beterbiev face WBO champion Joe Smith Jr. next month.
Buatsi confessed that he can now take a closer look at what could be his immediate opponent.
Buatsi admits he can now start looking more closely at Bivol, perhaps his next opponent
It comes after the announcement that Canelo is not going to take on Bivol, but will instead return to middleweight to fight Gennady Golovkin (left) again.
‘It’s a battle I’ve only watched once, I still haven’t respected it,’ he said. ‘It’s hard to comment [on Bivol’s performance] for I had fought two weeks later, so I was not to sit there, study it, and look through it again and again when I had a good adversary in Spider to wait on.
‘That fight was the day I landed back in England, so because of jetlag I woke up in the second round and watched it to the end. Maybe in the next few days I’ll be back and watch it again, but it’s not a priority. ‘
While Buatsi has been fighting his way to the periphery of the world level, once he is there, there is no turning back. His manager, Anthony Joshua, recently admitted to becoming world champion in only his 16th fight was detrimental to his development.
Buatsi’s coach, Virgil Hunter, also promoted caution immediately after his fighter’s victory over Spider, insisting he would like a little more time before jumping on the division’s assassins.
Russian Artur Beterbiev is the main dog in the light heavyweight division and would currently be the favorite to defeat Buatsi.
Beterbiev faces Joe Smith Jr. in an attractive welterweight association on June 18
But Buatsi, who would face Bivol in just his 17th outing, insists he is ready for the elites – including the likes of Beterbiev and Smith Jr.
“I’m now at a point where I want to be in these battles,” he said. ‘I have good, competitive fights, I keep showing people that I can fight and I can do this thing called boxing. If the world title comes, I’ll be ready for it. ‘
Asked if he would fight Beterbiev or Smith Jr., he added: “Yes, man. They have two hands, two legs and everyone can punch.
– No matter how much you look at it and think that person is a dangerous punisher, I think I’m a dangerous punch too.
One fight the British public is desperate to see – and will soon demand – is a match between Buatsi and Anthony Yarde.
Buatsi insists a match against British rival Anthony Yarde is set to take place in the near future
Advertiser Frank Warren recently insisted that he believes Yarde will face the winner of Beterbiev vs Smith Jr., who could see Buatsi jump in for a giant unification fight later.
However, even without the belts, Buatsi claims that the attack must take place, and soon.
‘We’re looking forward to this title, title, title, one of us may have one in the next year who knows.’ He said. ‘But it’s a battle I think sooner rather than later.
‘I’ve had a local fight now, and it was fun. I’d like to be in another. ‘
Ultimately, it’s a belt Buatsi craves. Although Bivol and Yarde are main targets, his main goal is to become an undefeated, undisputed champion – “all units”, as he puts it.