Joshua Buatsi digs deep to win come-back fight
After twelve rounds of intense fisticuffs, light heavyweight Joshua Buatsi (12-0, 10 KO’s) defeated Marko Calic (11-0, 6 KO’s) by way of unanimous decision. The impressive performance snapped a year of COVID-19-dictated inactivity for the talented pugilist. Buatsi was ecstatic get to back in the ring, shake off some ring rust and resume his promising career.
Prior to the lengthy layoff, the Ghana native had all the ear-markings of a future world champion. Even now, the light heavyweight remains ranked #3 by the IBF and #2 by the WBA. With the win, Team Buatsi will be aiming to rejuvenate interest in a potential domestic fight with Callum Johnson (18-1, 13 KO’s). There were also murmurs that Buatsi may face IBF and WBC world light heavyweight champion Artur Beterviev (15-0, 15 KO’s). Fight fans would be happily either match.
ONE EXCITING ALL ACTION RUMBLE
Following a standard feel-out opening round that saw Buatsi pressing the action behind a snapping jab, the action quickly heated up. While Buatsi was the favorite, it was evident that Calic was not there to lay down. Rather than shrink from the moment, the significantly taller Croatian established his own educated jab. Yet, even more impressive was the chopping overhand right that he nailed Buatsi with surprising regularity.
The match became rather intense in a hurry during the third round. During this round, both fighters engaged in frequent fire-fights that saw each scoring well. Calic’s volume increased and Buatsi found a home for his notorious body shots. However, the most important development in the period was the Ghanaian’s left eye. It is unclear whether a punch of head-butt was to blame. However, his eye was swelling shut at a frightening pace.
Throughout the fourth, Calic persistently gained momentum by frequently doubling-up on a basic 1-2 combination. Although simple, he was able to seriously trouble Buatsi with the reliable sequence of punches. The Croatian continued to do well throughout fifth until, toward the end, a body shot hurt him. Seeing his man hurt, the Ghanaian would swarm him but would prove unable to put him on the canvas.
Calic enjoyed a good stabilizing round in the sixth. Things rapidly changed in the seventh after an overhand right from Buatsi stunned his taller opponent. Just like the first time, he immediately pounced on him and roughed him up along the ropes. While he was definitely landing many of his punches, Buatsi clearly pushed Calic to the ground. Regardless of how he got there, referee Michael Alexander would rule it as an official knock down.
After receiving his eight count, Buatsi resumed his assault. Then in somewhat inexplicable fashion, Calic’s corner abruptly threw in the towel. It was odd because the Croatian was obviously under duress but did not appear anywhere near ready to go. In his post-fight interview however, Buatsi said that Calic admitted to him that at some point during the fight his jaw was broken. With that bit information, the sudden surrender made a great deal more sense.
After this exciting prizefight, fight fans should be eager to see both men back in the ring as soon as they heal up.
By: Bakari Simpson