Dan Azeez Focused on Winning Eliminator Against Joshua Buatsi
On October 21, unbeaten light heavyweights Joshua Buatsi (17-0, 13 KOs) and Dan “Super” Azeez (20-0, 13 KOs) will battle it out at the O2 Arena in London, England in what is a WBA world title eliminator. Azeez is pumped up about the fight and ready to do whatever it takes to win over an opponent he knows very well.
There was palpable tension at the kickoff press conference for the upcoming contest. Paying tribute to the late, great Marvelous Martin Hagler, Azeez wore a red hat with the word “War”. It was clear Azeez was sending a message.
Despite being friends outside the ring, the two exchanged heated words. Speaking to media outlet Boxing Social, Azeez talked about what went down.
“I’m sure you have mates out there you are with and have disagreements with. It’s no different between me and Josh. We’re good mates. But come October 21, we’ve got to put that aside and bash each other’s heads in.”
TAKING DIFFERENT PATHS
The two friends grew up in the South end of London, fighting at the South London Amateur Boxing Club. That’s where their similarities ended.
After winning a bronze medal at the 2016 Olympics, Buatsi turned professional in July 2017 with the spotlight full on him. Several members of the British boxing press predicted world titles and stardom for the 30-year-old.
Meanwhile, Azeez went to college and earned a degree in finance. Super began his professional career in December 2017 in small local pubs in London with little fanfare.
Azeez worked his way from the bottom and is one fight away from a possible world title shot. A win over Buatsi makes him the mandatory challenger for Dmitry Bivol, the reigning WBA champion at 175.