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Buatsi: The stakes are high against Bolotniks

Rated highly by all four major sanctioning bodies, Joshua Buatsi cannot afford to slip up against Latvian dangerman Ricards Bolotniks at Matchroom’s Fight Camp finale in Brentwood on Saturday evening.

The Croydon light-heavyweight contender is expecting his toughest test to date against the Golden Contract winner, live worldwide on DAZN at the weekend. But a blip would cause the Londoner to slip down the rankings, having risen to the lofty position of WBA No.2, IBF No.3, WBC No.4 and WBO No.7, and his fortunes as a future star reassessed.

The similarly world-rated Bolotniks (18-5-1, 8 KOs) is in the form of his life and presents a significant threat, but Buatsi says he is prepared for the move up in class.

“People have been asking for me to step up and here we are,” said Buatsi (14-0, 12 KOs). “I know what I have got to do, if it gets tough, I still know what I need to do. I’ve covered all bases in camp, so I am ready, so tune in and you’ll see.

“It’s part of the game and I understand it and it’s a compliment that people want to see me in with better competition. It’s natural for people to want to see and that’s what is next in line, so it’s down to me to handle it.

“I saw him box in the Golden Contract final, but it was just one round and a bit of him against Hosea Burton, and that’s it. I’ve always said that it’s about improving myself as a fighter and covering all angles and aspects of myself and once I do that, I feel that I can do that with anyone put int front of me.

“I’m looking forward to a lot, it’s been a while since I’ve boxed in front of fans so that’s going to be great, it’s the main event against a good opponent, we’re both ranked highly, we’ve both got winning streaks and believe we’ll win. I’ll be there for every round and if I sense any vulnerability from Bolotniks it’s game over, I’ll take him out. 

“It’s boxing, outside the ring you be cool, be calm, be nice, but inside the ring, you handle business. When I fight, I must put it all on the line because people say, ‘Joshua Buatsi is a nice guy’, but if I boxed in a nice way, people wouldn’t care. If you are a big character that’s loud and trash talks, the performance doesn’t matter as much in a way, but I am not like that, so I am aware my performances must do that talking.

“We were aiming for three fights this year, May, August, and the winter. So, the stakes are high, but I will go in with whomever the team puts in front of me, that’s for them, as long as I prepare I’m good, because when you step in the ring there’s no turning back. This is a very dangerous sport, so you have to make sure you are on it.”

Main image: Matchroom Boxing.