Joshua Buatsi Takes WBA Title Eliminator 

By Nick Martinez

Joshua Buatsi is hoping to one day get a world light heavyweight title shot, and it certainly seems like he’s worked his way one step closer to that goal. He just squared off with Dan Azeez and emerged victorious thanks to a unanimous decision. The victory came in the WBA world light heavyweight title eliminator. 

Buatsi is a former 2016 Olympic bronze medalist who was able to knock Azeez down twice in the 11th round. However, Azeez himself claims that both of those knockdowns were just slips. Regardless, Buatsi was able to take a solid 6–8-point victory from the judges. One judge had him winning 116-110, another at 117-109, and the third with the same score of 117-109. When asked about his matchup with Azeez, he said, “He pushed me every round. Our pride was on the line. He made me fight every second. He will give everyone a hard fight.” Buatsi certainly fought hard, he statistically had the advantage in power punches with 152 of them thrown in comparison to Azeez’s 72. 

Buatsi

For those that aren’t familiar with Buatsi and his boxing career, he’s currently 18-0 with 13 knockouts up to this point. He entered this past fight with Azeez towards the top of the list when it comes to contenders, and this victory likely cements his place up there. Unfortunately, there’s a chance that he’ll have to wait before getting a title opportunity. 

Joshua Buatsi Will Wait For Bivol

Dmitry Bivol currently holds onto the world light heavyweight title, meaning that Buatsi would need to step into a ring with him to earn that belt. Bivol already has his next fight locked in for June against Artur Beterbiev. Beterbiev already holds the WBC, WBO, and IBF belt. The winner of that fight will likely determine who will become the undisputed champion. Buatsi will likely need to let this fight pass before getting his opportunity to make his mark on the division. 

Azeez isn’t a bad boxer either, as Buatsi said. Azeez has accumulated a record of 20-1 throughout his professional career with 13 knockouts. He was the number two ranked fighter by two world governing bodies and ranked three and four by the other two. Buatsi on the other hand was ranked one. All he had to say about the loss to Buatsi was this, “He was just the better man tonight. He’s a great athlete.” We’ll see if Buatsi can get his wish and compete against Bivol sooner rather than later. 

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