Joshua Buatsi ‘absolutely’ would fight Anthony Yarde next as he waits for Artur Beterbiev-Dmitry Bivol winner | Boxing News

Joshua Buatsi’s ultimate goal is the winner of the undisputed light-heavyweight championship fight, but the Croydon star is willing to box London rival Anthony Yarde first.

Buatsi overcame Dan Azeez in a high quality 12-round encounter on Saturday at Wembley Arena. The unanimous decision win saw Buatsi win Azeez’s British title but it was also a final eliminator for the WBA world championship.

That puts Buatsi in prime position to challenge the victor of the Artur Beterbiev vs Dmitry Bivol undisputed title fight, which is expected to take place in June.

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Joshua Buatsi was full of praise for Dan Azeez’s brave display and said he had to fight

“As I said before the [Azeez] fight the winner will be in a very good position so I’m glad I came out on top. It puts me in a very good position,” Buatsi told Sky Sports.

Beterbiev-Bivol will be for the WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO world titles. So it means Buatsi would have to wait many months before he could get his chance to challenge for one of the major championships.

After a good performance against Azeez and a long year ahead, Buatsi wants to maintain momentum in his career.

He would therefore fight Anthony Yarde first, rather than sit on the sidelines until a title shot came up.

“I want to keep active and, before you ask me, yes I’m still interested in a Yarde fight. If that proposes itself and it’s a good one and my team and I think it’s good, we’ll take that fight too,” Buatsi said.

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Joshua Buatsi knocked down Dan Azeez twice and won a points victory after a thrilling twelve rounds at Wembley

“Absolutely. As long as the numbers are right and my team feels it’s right, absolutely.

“The Yarde one, people have been looking forward to and talking about it for a long time. This boxing game’s a dangerous one but if the fight proposes itself and everything is good I will definitely take it.”

The excitement around Buatsi’s fight with Azeez is a prime example of the anticipation two world class Londoners can generate when they box in their home city.

“The atmosphere was crazy, the noise, everything. I’m just glad that I came out on top,” Buatsi said.

The fight itself was worthy of the occasion. Buatsi ultimately won clearly on the scorecards but there was action throughout and when Azeez found success, Buatsi made sure he ferociously paid him back.

“‘Spider [Craig Richards] was big but this was bigger because of what was at stake. Sometimes I got caught, it wasn’t a big shot but everyone was like ‘ooh’ and I was getting [annoyed],” Buatsi said.

Azeez withstood Buatsi’s power for much of the fight

“Yeah, he caught me, I just wanted to let him know: ‘Yeah, you caught me Dan but I’m going to catch you back.'”

Azeez proved to be tough and resilient as well as offensively sound.

“He took all of it. There was a round where I was landing a left hook, I done it again, I done it again and I was thinking: ‘Bloody heck, are you going to go down?’ But it was a good fight,” Buatsi said.

“Someone had to win tonight, there was all this pride on the line, I thank Dan because it took two to make it but I’m just very grateful I came out on top.

“It was a hard push,” he continued. “As much as the light is on me, I want it to be on Dan as well. It was a hard fight and it took two to make so I’m glad we made it.”

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