August 22, 2017
August 22, 2017
Joshua Buatsi

Action Images/Andrew Couldridge

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What are your thoughts on your first professional fight (against Carlos Mena in July)?

I’m pleased with how I boxed because imagine it could have gone worse. The guy actually came to throw some punches. He wasn’t going to lay down. That made it interesting, excitement for the crowd. Ultimately the result was the same. Got a good win. It’s good. I enjoyed it.

The first time you put him down it looked like he was out for the count but he bounced up, and then you put him down a couple more times, what did you think when he kept getting up?

When he bounced up, I was just like welcome to the pro game. In the amateurs, after something like that the fight might get stopped, but in the pro game they let things carry on a bit longer. So I was like, yup, welcome to the pro game. If you’re trying to stop this guy here you’re going to have to do it properly.

Joshua Buatsi
Boxing – Joshua Buatsi vs Carlos Mena – London, Britain – July 1, 2017 Carlos Mena is knocked down by Joshua Buatsi Action Images/Andrew Couldridge

What did you make of it being basically a co-main event at the O2?

It was a good buzz knowing that there were other fighters but I’m always looking to steal a show. I was like yep, everyone’s going to be here to watch. All eyes are on me basically. But it’s something I was looking forward to. I didn’t want to shy away from it, so it was good.

Nerve-wracking at all?

When I got in the ring, it was like this is just another fight again, isn’t it?

I didn’t get to go outside and get a feel of the atmosphere before I went back in the changing rooms. In the amateurs because you’re not boxing straightaway, you can walk about, watch your mate box, get a sense of what it’s like. My shock was just when I came out. It wasn’t really a shock, it was my first experience of what the crowd was like and what the audience was like. But I enjoyed it.

People are watching, two men are going to fight and someone has to win. I’m up for it. It gets me ready and gets me on it.

I visualised it so much. I was like more of this please.

What about the whole week’s build up?

We’ve done a few interviews but the main thing I noticed, the main thing, is that talk is cheap. You can do these interviews and you can end up getting carried away. You can end up chatting and chatting. Really it all comes down to what you’re doing in the ring. I don’t mind the talking, but really it’s going to come down to what they’re doing in the ring.

Whereas in the amateurs, when you’ve got your draw and you know who you’re fighting, there is no talk.

And looking forward to York Hall?

Yes, September 1, I’m training hard so it has to result in a reward which is a win. So I’m looking forward to it.

Right now all focus and all aim is on September 1.

Watch fellow Olympian Lawrence Okolie discuss the York Hall show below: