Joshua Buatsi Battles to a Decision Win

Joshua Buatsi battles to a decision win against Dan Azeez, after delivering 2 knockdowns in the 11th round, and looked like he was on the verge of stopping Azeez in the 12th.

It was a solid fight, hosted in Wembley’s OVO arena, and was a closely-fought affair until the knockdowns, with Azeez having his moments.

The primary standouts for me for both men, were Buatsi’s jabs and left-hook, for Azeez, his ability to fight on the inside.

Generally, Buatsi had controlled the pace and ring, and took the first two rounds clearly for me, with Azeez taking some rounds after as he raised his work-rate towards the mid-rounds.

Azeez’s uppercuts head the edge on the inside, Buatsi was more reliant on his hooks at close-range, and wasn’t as effective with his own uppercuts.

The knockdowns were scored with right-hooks from memory, and the second looked particularly hard; still, Azeez managed to get up and fight on.

Azeez was then put on the ropes in the 12th, but survived without a knockdown in this round, and heard the final bell.

It was clear this fight meant a lot to both men, with the winner is now in a mandatory position for the WBA title.

The two fighters showed respect and sportmanship to one other; admittedly, I don’t think there’s any “bad-blood” between them.

I will look forward to Buatsi’s next opponent, this could be either Bivol, or Anthony Yarde.

Dmitry Bivol is the holder of the WBA title, with Beterbiev holding the other 3 (WBO, IBF and WBC respectively); however, I don’t think this is a fight that Buatsi wins.

There have been questions such as how does a fight with Yarde go, one example is the following from Michael Benson, which also includes my response:

Next Opponent

Now, Buatsi puts the punches together really, and has a good selection of punches also, but I do think his relative stiffness will be an issue against higher-level opposition.

Yarde has been tested at world-level, and gave a great account of himself, that will transfer into any other fights he has.

As for Bivol, Bivol is quite possibly the only light-heavyweight who could beat Beterbiev; his hand-speed, endurance and defence are superior to most in the division.

Beterbiev should be able to defeat Bivol, and would likely defeat Buatsi as well.

As for Azeez, he will still be high in the rankings, and could fight any of the following: Oleksandr Gvozdyk, Michael Eifert, Callum Smith Albert Remirez.

Notable Mentions

Ben Whittaker had performed with shades of Emmanuel Augustus AKA “The Drunken Master”, by dancing before unleashing uppercuts. Whittaker’s reflexes look excellent so far.

Azim won his fight by KO/TKO; albeit, from a injury that his opponent sustained in the 5th-round.

Caroline Dubois dominated her opponent with cleaner, sharper, and faster work; she was simply the superior boxer in her fight.

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