JOSHUA BUATSI made his next fight official when he appeared on Sky Sports News today.
The 30-year-old signed a contract to fight his friend and Boxxer’s stablemate, Dan Azeez.
“He’s done his part so I can only do my part and I’m looking forward to a big fight, a big domestic clash in October hopefully,” Buatsi said.
Days before a fight in Milan on Saturday, Dan Azeez announced that he had signed his contract to face a man he has fought hundreds of rounds against. All that is now left is a date and venue for the South London light heavyweight derby.
“Someone I’m very familiar with but we understand what’s at stake,” Buatsi said. “And it’s a final eliminator for a world title, which is what we want to win, so in 12 rounds or less we can do it.”
Croydon’s 17-0 (13) Buatsi joined Azeez at Boxxer earlier this year having finished his time in Matchroom with Eddie Hearn. While the 2016 Olympic bronze medalist may have the most recognizable pedigree and name, it’s Azeez who has all the momentum. In less than two years, Azeez won the British, Commonwealth and European titles at 175lbs. The 33-year-old vacated his last win in France against Thomas Faure with a stoppage in the final round of their March clash.
It is well documented how well both Buatsi and Azeez know each other given their friendship and the amount of punches they have thrown at each other in combat. You both need to have a clear idea of what to expect come fight night.
“We know how Dan fights,” Buatsi said. “He’s going to be there to win. There is a focus that he has and I have that focus too. Friends or no friends, someone is coming to do that to me on Sky Sports, what can I do? I have to fight back, show up. It’s something I look forward to.”
Buatsi was asked if the amount of time they have spent training is positive or negative.
“For now, it becomes irrelevant or something I couldn’t care less about. In our subconscious we know what that match went like and what to do and what I need to work on based on that. The beauty of this now is that we have different coaches. I would say both of us have improved so it will be good to see how that plays out over 12 rounds.
Azeez 20-0 (13) is now known for his pressure-fighting style. The Lewisham fighter has used aggression to his face to good effect backed up by effective punches that have stopped five of his last seven opponents.
“We know that he is a pressure fighter,” Buatsi said.
“[He] You can go out and box for a while, but you’ll go back to what you do, or you can start doing what you do and just get better at it. Whether it’s a long, short or mid range, I’ll prepare for any guy. All angles. I’m not focusing on one type of style. I’m preparing for everything, so when it’s all said and done, like my son told me when we went in, we have to win.”