IS he the nicest fighter on the planet? Is he Matchroom Boxing and Eddie Hearn’s best signing since Anthony Joshua? Is he the most gifted boxer to come out the 2016 Rio Olympic games?
These are all questions and labels 25 year-old Joshua Buatsi has been associated with, and rightfully so.
Humble and friendly in character, but destructive and efficient in the ring, Buatsi stands at 5-0 in the professional game following a successful amateur career which saw the Croydon-based boxer win an Olympic bronze medal.
Buatsi was swiftly snapped up by Hearn, who at his own admission believes his man will go on to world glory, and the promoter is joined by many others who think the rising light-heavyweight star will go on to future success.
The ever graceful Buatsi sees this kind of overwhelming praise as a positive, refusing to let any pressure arise from others’ predictions on where the Ghanaian born boxer will go in his career.
“I take it as more of a compliment,” Buatsi said. “It’s complimentary but everyone has to prove themselves, people can say things about me but I still have to go out there and do a job and prove I am as good as people say, or, even better than people say.
“I don’t feel any pressure about it, it’s just people saying they think Buatsi is the best out of the lot, and that’s their opinion, everybody has an opinion.
“Not everybody says that, that’s the thing it’s just an opinion. I don’t take people’s words to heart too much.
“I’m taking it step by step, if it comes across that I’ve adapted to it well, then that’s a positive thing.”
When Buatsi signed with Matchroom in June 2017, he joined former GB teammates Josh kelly, Lawrence Okolie, Antony Fowler and Joe Cordina as part of Hearn’s stable of talent-packed fighters, including current unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua.
But Buatsi remains grateful for the opportunities he has been given to along the way to impressing those who share the opinion that he is the next big thing through his performances.
“I’ve been given the platform to demonstrate that,” said Buatsi. “I’m sure there are some tremendous fighters out there that haven’t been given that opportunity so I’m forever grateful for any opportunity I have to demonstrate what I’ve been learning and what I can do.”
Hearn stated in a press conference today (May 3) Buatsi’s next scheduled bout, which takes place on the Tony Bellew and David Haye rematch, will be his last until a steps up in calibre.
This is not hard to believe as Joe Joyce, Okolie and Kelly, all ex GB teammates, have been granted the opportunity to challenge for Commonwealth titles, however Buatsi is not rushing to replicate this, offering the perfect analogy for why patience is key.
“People are getting title shots and they’re doing this and that but again, it’s their path” Buatsi said.
“I can’t look at what people are doing in their path; I have to look at what I’m doing.
“The example I can give is this – I was listening to something the other day and I was hearing how you have to stay in your own lane.
“When you’re driving and you think ‘there’s traffic in my lane let me change lanes’, whenever you change lanes the lane you have just gone into there’s more traffic.
“So you start to look at where you were before and traffic is flowing.
“I believe strongly I have to stay in my lane, believe in what me and my team are doing and we’ll get to the top.”