Joshua Buatsi To Face Craig Richards In May 21 WBA Title Eliminator

Joshua Buatsi and Craig Richards to Battle for Mandatory Challenger Slot

Joshua Buatsi (left) and Craig Richards
Joshua Buatsi (left) and Craig Richards

Joshua Buatsi and Craig Richards Heading Toward May 21 Clash

Light heavyweight boxer Joshua Buatsi (15-0, 13 KO’s) and Craig “Spider” Richards (17-2-1, 10 KO’s) have signed off on a May 21 showdown. The domestic dustup will also stand as a WBA light heavyweight title eliminator. Naturally Buatsi, ranked #2 (IBF), #3 (WBA), #4 (WBC) and #4 (WBO), will be the favorite heading into the prizefight. In his last at bat, the undefeated pugilist thoroughly worked over and stopped Ricards Bolotniks in a sensational eleventh round knockout.

For his part, Richards’ career has been a bit more turbulent than Buatsi’s. For starters he is 2-1-1 in his last four matches. In fact, Spider, who is ranked #7 (WBA) and #15 (WBC), is only one fight removed from his May 1, 2021 unanimous decision loss to WBA Super light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol. Perhaps though, this loss coupled with the current opportunity will spur Richards on to do great things. This is because his impending title eliminator with Buatsi is in an effort to later get a shot at Bivol.


Bivol has his own upcoming dustup with undisputed super middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. The Bivol versus Alvarez bout will be contested in the light heavyweight division. Meaning, if Bivol was to lose, there is not telling what the immediate ripple effects would be. Just because the redhead would fight at 175-pounds against Bivol, even if victorious, there is no reason to believe that he would stay there.

Again, Canelo already holds all the 168-pound titles and has an accompanying match with Gennady Golovkin in the works. Golovkin campaigns at middleweight, so there is little chance they will be dueling at light heavyweight. That implies this is a cameo appearance in the division and not an addition for a leading role. So, before we start dreaming up potential complications and last minute changes, let’s let these fighters deal with their next assignments first!

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By: Bakari Simpson

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