The World Boxing Association has officially declared that their number 1 ranked light heavyweight Joshua Buatsi must face off with their number 2 ranked light heavyweight ‘Super’ Dan Azeez in a final eliminator.
The pair of British pugilists have had their respective ranks since November 2022 and Boxing Scene are reporting the two will meet on August 19 in England – however this has not been confirmed.
Both fighters work with Boxxer’s Ben Shalom, and whoever comes out on top that night will become the mandatory challenger to the WBA World Champion, Dmitry Bivol.
Given his talents, many believe Olympic bronze medal winner Buatsi’s career has been rather underwhelming since turning pro in 2017.
After 10 ten consecutive wins by knockout, he scored a unanimous points win over former world title challenger Craig Richards in May 2022 and has had just one fight against former Polish champion Pavel Stepien since then on May 6.
A fight against Azeez marks a decent challenge – even despite Buatsi’s name being mentioned for a world title shot not long ago – with Azeez being the only British light-heavyweight to capture all BBBofC domestic titles as well as holding the Commonwealth title since 2022 and European title since March 2023.
He has quickly worked his way up the rankings with wins against Reece Cartwright, Shaken Pitters, Rocky Fielding and Thomas Faure.
Just this week, Eddie Hearn believed Buatsi to be out of the frame for a fight with Bivol due to ‘promotional’ issues, but expressed interest in making a fight between the Russian champion and Azeez.
It is now seems that one of the two Brits will indeed get the chance to fight the technically excellent Bivol at some point in the future.