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Preview: Buatsi vs Stepien

Joshua Buatsi embarks on his Boxxer promotional deal, looking to kickstart his career in Birmingham.

Buatsi returns to ring after almost a year out, headlining on his debut fighting under Ben Shalom’s Boxxer. The former Matchroom fighter has not been as active as fans would like in recent times, having fought seven times in just over four years and there are many hoping the switch to Boxxer will see a more active Buatsi.

Buatsi was seen as one of British boxing’s biggest hopes when he turned professional after a stellar amateur career, however, his career has stalled, despite currently being 16-0. The 30-year-old was expected to follow a similar career path as fellow Brit Joe Cordina (who is a two-time world champion in the same number of fights.) Having been offered the chance to fight for a world title in his 17th professional fight against Dimitry Bivol, Buatsi made the decision to turn this down and move over to Boxxer, in the hope of better exposure and bigger nights in his path.

The gamble Buatsi has taken has already begun to pay off, headlining the Birmingham card on Sky Sports, which is exactly what he felt he was missing out on whilst fighting on DAZN. Buatsi heads into the fight on the back of a tough 12-round victory over Craig Richards, in what was a fairly underwhelming performance, that felt like the Londoner did just enough to get the unanimous decision victory.

Buatsi on his way to beating Richards

The man looking to steal the headlines and kickstart is own career is unbeaten Polish fighter Pawel Stepien. Stepien boasts a record of 18-0-1 but Buatsi is by far and away the toughest test of his career to date and respect has to be given for taking the fight on.

Stepien initially agreed to fight former Super-Middleweight world champion Callum Smith in Liverpool back in March. However, Smith had to pull out of the fight due to an injury and Stepien was denied his chance to prove himself against world-class opposition on the biggest stage.

Stepien fights outside of his native Poland for the first time in his professional career and huge credit has to be given to the Pole for agreeing to a fight of this stature after his first opportunity was stolen away from him. Boasting 12 ko’s in his 18 wins, Stepien has shown he carries power and on Saturday night he will be looking to add the biggest knockout of his career to his cv.

Buatsi heads into Saturday night looking to secure a routine victory and move onto bigger and better nights under the Boxxer banner. Standing in his way is a man who has simply nothing to lose and everything to gain. Will Buatsi shut Stepien out? Or will the unbeaten underdog secure the major upset and see his stock rise?

Fighters Form

Joshua Buatsi (16-0, 13 ko’s)

Craig Richards – Win – UD

Ričards Bolotņiks – Win – TKO

Daniel Dos Santos – Win – TKO

Marko Calic – Win – TKO

Pawel Stepien (18-0-1, 12 Ko’s)

Iago Kiziria – Win – UD

Ezequiel Osvaldo Maderna – Win – MD

Hernan David Perez – Win – UD

Deneb Diaz – Win - KO

Official Fight Night poster (promotional Twitter @Boxxer)

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