• Elliott Grigg

JOSHUA BUATSI HOPING FOR STATEMENT STOPPAGE IN FIRST WBA INTERNATIONAL DEFENCE


Light heavyweight prospect Joshua Buatsi defends his WBA International title on Saturday night against Canada’s Ryan Ford. This is his 12th professional fight in an exciting undefeated career that has thus far produced 9 stoppages and has him widely and understandably considered as one of the best up-and-coming fighters in Britain today.


Ford (16-4) is a 37-year-old ex-MMA fighter, who transitioned into boxing in 2010. His career CV includes defeats to world title challengers Avni Yildirim and Fedor Chudinov and he last fought in April, defeating promising German light heavyweight prospect, Serge Michel (8-1) in Germany via an 8th round TKO. Buoyed by and hoping to repeat this victory, Ford was in combative mood at the open workout and fans may expect several warring rounds,


“They made a mistake bringing me over. I come to show up and show out." he told reporters.


"I’ll put it all in. I’m not just here to get rounds. I’ll bring fireworks and give the fans a war.”


In prefight interviews, Buatsi has been keen to reiterate that he wants to be the first fighter to stop Ford.


“If I can get him out of there it will be a good statement. If I can be the first name on that list, then it’s a good sign.”


If he succeeds in this desire then it will be another good sign to the continued progression he further showed in his last fight, comfortably beating the experienced Mexican, Marco Antonio Periban for the WBA International belt at Madison Square Garden on the Anthony Joshua-Andy Ruiz undercard.


That performance awoke the American market to the florid skillset and exciting combination-punching style of Buatsi, who as a Rio 2016 Bronze medallist and current British champion is surely destined for world title honours in the not too distant future.


Moderating the hype of that performance and the recent clamour for him to step up and challenge for a world title – especially as domestic rival Anthony Yarde did so against Sergey Kovalev last week – Buatsi is wisely looking no further than this weekend’s job in hand and of putting in a professional performance.


“Fighting in the U.S. was a great experience but I’m happy to be back in England fighting at the O2, the lion’s den. I’m putting it all on the line again and I’m going to come out on the night and put on a great performance. As always, first and foremost, the most important thing is to get the win and getting the win is the main focus.”


Tune in on Saturday night to see whether he realises this objective.

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