Joshua Buatsi v Craig Richards: Olympian ‘ready for world title shot’
Joshua Buatsi says he is “ready for a world title” but must beat the heavyweight Craig Richards in London on Saturday.
The 2016 Olympic bronze medalist, Buatsi, meets former world champion Richards at the O2 Stadium in one of the biggest games of the year in England.
“It was the most important game I’ve ever played,” said BoBuatsi azi, 29.
“Why? Because I want to keep pushing and winning the next game and every game.”
In a full-fledged league, Dmitry Bivol, who beat Richards by points last year, retains the WBA title, while WBC and IBF champion Arthur Beterbiev is next month’s WBO champion Joe Smith Jr next month.
Richards, on the other hand, has ambitions of his own for the World Cup. “I’m not here to spoil the party, I’m here to make my dreams come true and advance my career,” the 32-year-old said.
Richards said that without the hype and hype surrounding the Olympics, his boxing trip would mean he had to “win the hard way” and enjoy his underdog status.
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Beterbiev and Smith Jr. will face Crop Alvarez again in the reunion game with Bivol rematching Alvarez and possibly after, and the winning Richards-Buatsi may wait longer for the world title.
However, the venue has plenty of options, with Callum Johnson, Callum Smith, and Anthony Yarde at the helm of the governing body.
Buatsi goal is to prove his worth as Britain’s best player and fight against world domination.
“All the others will call themselves number one,” he said, “but we will only know if we fight each other, or if one of them wins the world championship and then his hand is on the top.”
The clash with the London field has been discussed in recent years and Buatsi hopes it will happen sooner or later.
“We must not be 40 and say we have to fight each other when we have a chance,” she said. “It’s going to be a miss. I hope we can do that.”
Richards said he proved himself against British lightweights but spoke of his overall victories over Jake Ball and Shakan Pitters.
“I struggled locally – it’s not new to me,” she said. “I’m the only one who messes around when there’s no one around. I’m world class now and I have to prove it.”