Updated:Mar 15, 2023 7:44 pm
Joshua Buatsi was unveiled as the latest Boxxer signing today after he decided to leave Matchroom, DAZN and long-term promoter, Eddie Hearn.
Buatsi, a former Olympic bronze medallist, has agreed a multi-fight deal with Ben Shalom, meaning he will fight on Sky Sports for the foreseeable future.
The man from Croydon boasts an undefeated record of 16-0 and is ranked number one in the WBA world rankings. Joshua Buatsi last fought in May 2022, winning a close unanimous decision against Craig Richards at the O2 Arena in Greenwich.
The British light heavyweight started his career on Sky Sports back in 2017, but began fighting on DAZN in 2021 following Matchroom’s deal with the streaming platform.
However, Buatsi has now followed in the footsteps of Lawrence Okolie, by returning to terrestrial TV in search of bigger audiences and new opportunities.
“I want everyone here to sit at home and say ‘You know what, Buatsi’s boxing today’. If were not going, we know what channel to turn to,” Buatsi told Sky Sports.
“I’m not going to tell you to download an app to type in your email, your bank details. Type in the TV channel and you can watch me fight… There were a few things that Ben wouldn’t budge on but we came to an agreement and like I said, the most important thing to me was, people just having access to watching me.
“I’ve had some fights, even my last fight with Spider [Craig Richards]. Hard fight, but I ask myself, how many people watched it? And for the blood, and the sweat and the tears I shed in that fight, it’s important to me that people have access to watch it. Like I said, go home, turn on 401, whichever one it is, you know where to find it.
“Straightaway, I’m top three in three of the governing bodies. So it’s just manoeuvring myself the right way so I can become the mandatory [challenger]. So if any of the champions say ‘Buatsi, let’s rock’, I can say ‘No problem, talk to my promoter, talk to my team, let’s make it happen. There’s not a specific name, I just want to get my hands on a belt.”
Joshua Buatsi On Turning Down Fight With Dmitry Bivol
Joshua Buatsi was offered the opportunity to fight Dmitry Bivol for the WBA Light Heavyweight Championship by Matchroom. But the Ghana-born boxer opted to decline the offer as he was keen to leave DAZN.
“The narrative that I turned down a million to fight Bivol is what’s been put out there. But you need to ask yourself ‘What were the caveats to that, what were the additional points?’ Would you fight Bivol for a mill and that’s it, of course not. That’s not what it is. You end up signing an extension for what? Three to four fights, Buatsi told Boxing Social.
“That’s looking at another two to three years at a channel you don’t want to be on or at a place where you don’t think you’re gonna get the exposure or the recognition…It paints a certain narrative about you which isn’t true, because when I speak to you, it’s like ‘No it wasn’t just turning down the million, I had to think about it.'”
At the moment all the world titles at 175 lbs are held between Bivol and Artur Beterbiev and there is speculation the two Russian boxers may collide in June for all the belts.
In the meantime, Buatsi is set to make his Sky Sports return on May 6th in Birmingham. And it is plausible he could face new European Champion and fellow Brit, Dan Azeez in late 2023.