Eddie Hearn has dismissed the idea of Joshua Buatsi fighting for the European title next.
The Matchroom head honcho took part in a question and answer session on social media on Thursday.
Hearn, who will be in his element on Friday as Chris Eubank Jr. and Conor Benn meet at a press conference for the first time since their catchweight clash was confirmed for October 8 at the O2 Arena in London, exclusively live on DAZN worldwide and DAZN Pay-Per-View in the UK and Ireland, was reacting to the news that Buatsi (16-0, 13 KOs) was pitted against former Commonwealth champion Callum Johnson.
Queensberry Promotions, headed up by Frank Warren, promotes the 36-year-old Lincolnshire light-heavyweight (20-1, 14 KOs), who trains with Joe Gallagher in Manchester. And it won purse bids to stage the clash for the title recently relinquished by Mathieu Bauderlique.
The Frenchman moved on to fight in a final eliminator for the WBC world title against Callum Smith, Johnson’s former gym-mate, and that fight will take place on August 20 at the Jeddah Superdome in Saudi Arabia, as part of the supporting cast to Anthony Joshua’s bid to become a three-time world champion as he meets former undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk in a rematch for the WBA Super, IBF, IBO and WBO heavyweight titles having been dethroned at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London last September.
Johnson had been set to fight for the world title earlier this year, against then-WBO champion Joe Smith Jr., before withdrawing and then pulled out of his return, having been scheduled for action on July 2 at the OVO Arena in Wembley, London, exclusively live on BT Sport.
Hearn responded when asked about fight news for Olympic bronze medallist ‘JB’:
“That fight [between Buatsi and Johnson] is not happening.
“[Buatsi’s next] fight [will be] announced shortly.”
Buatsi, who claimed a medal as an amateur at the Rio Games in 2016, was dealt a blow recently after the WBA refused a request from the aforementioned Hearn for him to take on Dmitry Bivol for the world title in the 175-pound division, instead ruling that the Russian must face his Mexican mandatory Gilberto Ramirez (44-0, 30 KOs) on the back of his shock defeat of Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in May at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
A final eliminator for the IBF title at light-heavyweight, held by Artur Beterbiev, was called for the 29-year-old against Jean Pascal.
Boxing Social understands that is the fight that will be locked in for Buatsi sooner rather than later as he zeros in on the long-awaited shot at global glory.