Joshua Buatsi open to Anthony Yarde fight
Joshua Buatsi became the British and Commonwealth light heavyweight champion by outpointing his friend Dan Azeez at the OVO Arena on Saturday, February 3 in an all-London dustup.
While the belts go back with him to Croydon, 30-year-old Buatsi sets his sights upon the division’s world-level scene, naming two-time world title contender Yarde as a potential next opponent.
On Boxing Social, he said: “It’s a fight that I would like to happen this year.
“Of course, winning the [WBA] final eliminator means a world title is up for grabs, but there’s a unification happening on June 1.
“I’m not going to wait; I want to keep active, and if it’s Yarde, so be it.”
The pair have been linked with each other ever since they turned professional, but the matchup never seemed realistic with the fighters represented by two rival promotional stables – Matchroom and Queensberry.
But now, with promoters showing more of a willingness to work together – with big money opening up opportunities in Saudi Arabia – there is more hope than ever that it will get made.
Ghanaian-born boxer Buatsi, now headlining BOXXER shows on Sky Sports, is expecting to be called as the mandatory challenger for the 175lbs WBA world title, currently held by Dmitry Bivol, who is preparing to fight unified titlist Artur Beterbiev next.
WBA #4 Yarde, meanwhile, returns to the ring this Saturday against Marko Nikolic on the undercard of Hamzah Sheeraz vs Liam Williams at the Copper Box Arena, London.
It will be his second fight since he was stopped by Artur Beterbiev in the eighth round of their fight-of-the-year contender early last year.
With Turki Alalshikh at the forefront of negotiations, Beterbiev is set to face Bivol in an undisputed fight on June 1 in Saudi Arabia.
So, with the belts all held up, it makes perfect sense to stage the fight between Buatsi and Yarde in the interim, where both men will earn mega money and the victor set for super stardom.
However, there is a good chance that this domestic classic will end up in Saudi Arabia, instead of a packed-out crowd at the O2 Arena in London.