Joshua Buatsi is finding frustration in trying to get fights made in a stacked division.
The top of the light heavyweight scene is at a bottleneck. Hard-hitting Artur Beterbiev has three belts to Dmitry Bivol’s one, and there are plenty of fighters looking for their shots.
Beterbiev is out injured, but apparently has an agreement with Anthony Yarde to face him next year. Bivol is defending his WBA title against Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez in November. The plans leave a lot of British fighters with no choice but to either wait, or fight amongst themselves.
Two fighters out of London that the fans would like to see fight in the meantime are Buatsi and Yarde. The pair met at a show the other night, and ‘JB’ revealed to Boxing Social what was said.
“I’ve seen Yarde and I said man, we need to fight. Let’s get it on. Let’s make it happen. It’s never that straight forward but it should be. I’m trying to fight these guys. There’s loads of us, it’s not like there’s just one person. Let’s fight.”
“What I do know is that [in the] light heavyweight division the belts are a bit tied up. There’s a lot of final eliminators going about and all of that. It’s a bit frustrating, but I want to fight these guys, I’m sure they want to fight me, too. Sometimes I think why is it so hard – two people want to fight each other, let the people who can kind of make it happen step to the side and let us fight, man.”
There has been an offer made to Yarde from Buatsi’s team, however ‘The Beast From The East’ has said it was more tactical than realistic.
Buatsi was then asked about potentially facing Callum Smith, another light heavyweight in and around the top. Again, it’s a domestic clash fans would love to see and this one, in theory, would be easier to make given both are part of the Matchroom stable.
“That’s been proposed to me. If I was Smith and I won the WBC final eliminator, would I fight anyone like myself? I wouldn’t. And I can sit here like yeah let’s get Smith, let’s make the fight happen, but I know it’s not gonna happen.”
For now, the Croydon fighter has been ordered to fight an eliminator of his own. Recently, DiBella Entertainment outbid Matchroom to stage Buatsi versus Jean Pascal for a future shot at the IBF belt. As that progresses, we may just have to wait a while longer to see some of these all-British light heavyweight bouts.