Joshua Buatsi: ‘Every fight is a must win for me’

Joshua Buatsi
Action Images/Reuters/John Sibley
Joshua Buatsi's opponent tonight is no 'Latvian Lemming,' writes John Dennen

What do you think about Saturday’s opponent Andrejs Pokumeiko?

He had [world title challenger Enrico] Koelling on the backfoot for the whole fight. That was a good opponent [Koelling] who into the 12th round with [Artur] Beterbiev.

So he’s not a ‘Latvian Lemming’?

A what?

A lemming.

What’s a lemming?

A lemming is a little creature that falls off a cliff. Lemmings are famous for falling off cliffs.

Don’t call him that, no way!

A few years ago Boxing News did a feature on ‘Latvian Lemmings’ who were all these boxers just shipped over here to lose.

No, he’s definitely not that. He’s going to come, he’s going to want to fight. He’s going to want to win. So it’s up to me to make it a hard night for him, to put on another performance.

It’s a must win fight for me. Every fight is a must win.

Did you always know you were going to be fighting, so when the Ricky Summers fight fell through you kept on training?

I kept on training because I knew I’d still be fighting. I was still very disappointed that he pulled out. Everything I was doing was programmed towards that fight.

Have you been watching Callum Johnson, even though he’s challenging for a world title, he’s still the British and Commonwealth light-heavyweight champion?

Have I been watching him? I haven’t – since I turned pro he’s only had one fight and that was against [Frank] Buglioni so there wasn’t much to see of him. Maybe I should, but I take these fights one at a time.

You’ve sparred George Groves, any chance you’ll be sparring him for Callum Smith fight?

I hope he does. If you’re reading this, please bring me. I’ve done a lot with him, good sparring sessions. Valuable lessons… Things that I would do that would work against other people, just wouldn’t work with him. So I had to find a different approach. I was learning things, things that he was doing that were working and I sit back and think why was that working and then alter it again.

But every camp I’ve had uncomfortable spars, this one as well.

Joshua Buatsi

Do you think that the Summers fight can still happen later in the year?

I think it wasn’t just myself that was looking forward to it. I think the public actually felt, ‘Right this is a good test for Buatsi.’ So for me I think it was a win-win situation for everyone, everyone wanted to see the fight… The right fight at the right time on the right stage.

Frank Buglioni, a former British champion, is he a viable potential fight?

Once my team feels this is the right move, I trust their decisions and I’ll take these fights. Your trainer, he’s the person that knows where you’re at at every stage, what you’re doing, what you’re ready for, what you’re ready for. If they give me the green light, I’m always open to it.

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