Joshua Buatsi Vs Antony Yarde Set To Be Agreed Soon: ‘It’s Going To Get Done’

March 20, 2024
2 months
Anthony Yarde

An all-British mega fight between light-heavyweight rivals Joshua Buatsi and Anthony Yarde is expected to be made soon, with the fight likely to take place later this year, according to promoter Ben Shalom.

Unbeaten Buatsi (18-0-0 13 KO) is coming off an impressive points win over Dan Azeez in February, which not only earned him the British and Commonwealth titles, but put him in prime position for a shot at a world title; Buatsi is now the No 1-ranked challenger by the WBO, WBC, and WBA.

However, with unified champion Artur Beterbiev and WBA champion Dimitry Bivol expected to clash for undisputed on June 1, Buatsi will have to wait for his chance.

Yarde (25-3-0 24 KO) has fought twice for a world title and came up short both times; first during the early part of his career when he suffered an 11th-round TKO defeat to Sergey Kovalev in August 2019, and more recently to Beterbiev via eighth-round stoppage in January last year.

However, Yarde gave the unbeaten champion plenty of problems and he has since bounced back with successive knockout wins. After his most recent victory – a third-round stoppage of Marko Nikolic in London – Yarde was joined ringside by Buatsi, where both verbally agreed to fight each other next.

‘Buatsi Is Ready’

It is arguably the biggest fight in the division outside of the world titles, and Shalom told Sky Sports that it is getting closer to being made.

“I had a laugh with him [Yarde] and said ‘hurry up!’,” Shalom said. “Joshua Buatsi is ready. Hopefully we’ll be sitting down with George Warren [of Queensberry Promotions] next week. Everybody wants the fight, both promoters want the fight, it’s going to get done.

“It’s going to be the UK, I believe it will be next as well. Fingers crossed we see another phenomenal fight, he’s always in good fights.

“That Yarde-Beterviev fight was very very good but I think this is the one. Yarde-Buatsi is a fight people have wanted for many years.

“I think both of them coming in in the way they will, and the form Buatsi is in now coming off that Dan Azeez win, it’s a special fight and one of those 50-50 British fights that captures the imagination. Fingers crossed we can hurry up and get that fight on.”

Yarde Confident Of Victory

Yarde, for one, is keen to get the fight on, believing his greater experience will help him land the victory and set up another shot at a world title.

“I’ve said it, I’ve looked straight into the Sky Sports camera before and said me and Joshua Buatsi need to fight this year,” said Yarde. “There’s a difference between amateur boxing and professional boxing. This professional boxing is a business so I’m just praying the negotiations can be sensible, fair and we can make the fight for the fans.

“I see myself winning, I don’t like to put any spite on it, I see myself winning and I feel like I’ve been in bigger fights, had tougher competition, for me I’ve been showing I’ve been getting better every fight. It’s all talk. Everybody knows my style, get in the ring and get it cracking.”

Such is the excitement around this potential fight that Yarde’s trainer, Tunde Ajayi, is convinced it can sell out a sports stadium.

“The one I feel the British fans want to see is a fight that has been in the making for over five years and one that would do a stadium,” Ajayi said. “I keep hearing O2 talk, but it’s a football stadium.

“How do you know? Ask anybody who you would like to see Anthony Yarde fight next in this country, ask anybody who they want to see Buatsi fight next. That shows you this fight is way bigger than the O2. If the promoters can get themselves together, it’s definitely a fight we would entertain.”