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Next Joshua Buatsi faces a threat

Joshua Buatsi
Victory over Bolotniks should propel Joshua Buatsi closer to Dmitry Bivol and his WBA title

JOSHUA BUATSI faces a threat. Ricards Bolotniks may have a few defeats on his record but he has beaten Steven Ward, Hosea Burton and Serge Michel in his last three fights and, when he meets Buatsi on August 14 in Matchroom’s Fight Camp, he will be coming to win.

“He’s a good fighter, he’s dangerous and all of that, but I feel I’ve got what it takes. I’ve no doubt about that,” Buatsi says. “I don’t think I’ll have to go looking for him. I’ll be there. I won’t be running. I don’t think he’ll be running either.

“I might say, forget this and meet you in the centre, we’ll see what’s going on. He might come to put on pressure, I’m might be, no I’m putting you on the back foot, who knows? The talking can be done but when the bell goes will see how it happens.”

After felling Daniel Dos Santos, with a vicious one-punch knockout in his last fight, Buatsi went straight back into his second training camp with new coach Virgil Hunter in Oakland. “I’m here to keep learning and to keep working. I’ve got a good fight lined up so the quicker I get here the better,” Joshua said. “It’s best for me just to be out here. This year I wanted to keep active and to keep busy.

“I’ve made these sacrifices a normality.”

There are high expectations for Buatsi, an Olympic medallist back in 2016, and a good performance will likely push him closer to an eventual shot at the WBA light-heavyweight title in the coming months. That is currently in the possession of Russia’s Dmitry Bivol. “The highest ranking I’ve got is the WBA so that looks like it makes more sense. But again I’m not looking past who I’ve got in August. All my concentration and everything is towards that. I think Bivol and the WBA that’s the aim,” the Briton said.

“I get past this one, then we can map out what’s next,” he continued. “I think there’s stuff to do but I feel like at some point you have to make the move. As a student, I say to my coach, ‘If you think this is the time, then let’s go.’ Fighters will say, ‘I’ll box this guy, I’ll do this and do that’. Like Virgil said in an interview, if the right money is provided to have the right camp, to spar the people we need to spar and to have things done the right way then he was like yeah we will take it end of the year or early next year. I guess that’s what has been put out there and if it is available and my coach says we can have a good camp, then I’d say yes.

“I feel I’m moving at the right pace, learning at the right time.”

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