Anthony Yarde and Joshua Buatsi Verbally Agree To Fight Next

February 11, 2024
2 weeks
Anthony Yarde

Anthony Yarde and Joshua Buatsi both expressed their interest in fighting each other after Yarde’s impressive performance in London on Saturday night.

Yarde (25-3-0 23 KO) delivered his second successive early stoppage victory since his defeat to Artur Beterbiev, cleaning out Marko Nikolic in the third round at the Copper Box Arena.

Watching closely ringside was British light-heavyweight rival Buatsi, who last weekend put himself at the front of the WBA world title line with a thrilling points win over Dan Azeez.

TNT Sports, the UK broadcaster that showed Yarde’s fight, brought the two boxers together for a joint interview, where they both stated their desire to share the ring in their next bouts.

“I would be at home if I didn’t have interest [in fighting Yarde],” said Buatsi (18-0-0 13 KO). “I’m here because I think this should be next. I’m down for it and I’m sure his team feel the same way. My answer’s simple and short. I’m ready.”

Yarde responded in kind, insisting a fight with Buatsi is the one he most wants next.

“This fight between me and ‘JB’ is 100 times bigger [than Buatsi-Azeez],” the 32-year-old Londoner said. “Me and him have both got mutual respect but we’re both fighters; we’ve both agreed to get it cracking. We’ve said it behind the scenes.

“We spoke; we always had in our mind we’d fight. We’d get it cracking. He’s a respectful person; he had a victory. I’m ready whenever. It’s about making the deal. If me and Joshua Buatsi could fight for a world title that’d be perfect. If not that’s fine.”

Light-heavyweight is one of the most exciting divisions in boxing at present with several big fights on the horizon that could shape the landscape.

At the top of the division is the all-Russian undisputed showdown between WBA champion Dimitrii Bivol and Beterbiev, the WBC, WBO, and IBF title holder. Their fight is scheduled for June 1 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and will headline the Five v Five event that will pit fighters from Matchroom Boxing up against fighters from Queensbury Promotions.

Buatsi’s victory over Azeez saw him become the mandatory challenger for the WBA belt, although with Bivol and Beterbiev fighting in less than four months, he will have to wait for his chance.

In the meantime, a domestic duel with Yarde is the fight that makes the most sense. It has Pay-Per-View appeal in the UK and will comfortably sell out a sizeable arena, ensuring a lucrative payday for both fighters and the organizers.

Whether it would be for a title would likely depend on the WBA. Should Bivol and Beterbiev contest a rematch after their June 1 showdown – and whoever holds the WBA title not opt to fight his mandatory challenger – the WBA could decide to strip the holder of the belt and order a fight for the vacant title.  

Buatsi is also the No 1-ranked challenger by the WBO, No 2 with the WBC, and third by the IBF. Yarde, meanwhile, is ranked fourth by the WBA and WBO, fifth by the WBC, and eighth by the IBF.

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