Could We See a Artur Beterbiev – Joshua Buatsi Showdown Down The Road?
Artur Beterbiev (15-0, 15 KOs) was set to defend the WBC/IBF World Light Heavyweight titles on March 28 against the IBF’s number one contender at 175-pounds, Meng Fanlong (16-0, 10 KOs) at the Videotron Centre in Quebec City, Canada. However, that fight has been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Ranked right below Fanlong in the latest IBF Light Heavyweight rankings at the number two slot is Britain’s Joshua Buatsi (12-0, 10 KOs). Buatsi is one of the most promising up and coming fighters on the UK boxing scene. To many British boxing observers, the 27-year-old from London is a future world champion.
Todd DuBoef, president of Top Rank promotions (who promotes Beterbiev) was recently interviewed by Sky Sports. Among the things they discussed was the possibility of Beterbiev defending the titles in the UK.
“Beterbiev would fight in the UK in two seconds and he wouldn’t see it as an obligation. He is a complete, absolute beast! Anything in front of him, he takes down.
He disregards ‘who’ or ‘where’. If you’re in front of him, goodbye. That’s it. Like Vasiliy Lomachenko, Beterbiev wants to fight the best and has no issue with where a fight might be.”
~ Todd DuBoef, Top Rank Promotions president
With his seek-and-destroy style inside of the ring and his no-nonsense persona outside of the right, the 35-year-old unified Light-Heavyweight world champ gives the impression of a fighter that doesn’t care who or where he fights, as long as he fights.
Upon hearing what DuBoef had to say, Buatsi responded by telling Sky he’s not intimidated by Beterbiev or anyone else at the top of the division and will be ready when the time is right.
“I have learning to do and they are dangerous fighters, but I am a dangerous fighter too. Who executes the right way?
With more learning and guidance, when the time is right, I’ll be ready to handle these guys. I believe, in the ring, I’m as dangerous as they are.”
~ Joshua Buatsi
But the reality is, both men have business to take care of before a potential Beterbiev – Buatsi bout could happen, be it the UK or Beterbiev’s adopted home country of Canada.
The champion is still obligated to fight Fanlong, who is the IBF’s mandatory contender. And as for Buatsi, he told Sky that he’s targeting a possible bout against Callum Johnson. Johnson lost to Beterbiev by fourth-round stoppage in October 2018. As he explained, his next step is to win the European title, then shoot for the world title.
With the sport currently on standstill due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s good to ponder about potential bouts down the road with no action happening in the ring.
Given Buatsi’s current ranking, as well as his potential and talent that’s obvious to anyone who has seen him fight, we could very well see these two face each other down the road.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.