Richards On Buatsi: “He’s Played It Safe But The Safety Cap Is Off Now”

Craig Richards Ready to Test Joshua Buatsi

Joshua Buatsi and Craig Richards stand confidently
Joshua Buatsi (L), Craig Richards | Credit: Matchroom Boxing (R)

Craig Richards Looking to Expose Joshua Buatsi


An important battle of all-British light heavyweights will occur on May 21 as Joshua Buatsi (15-0, 13 KOs) faces Craig Richards (17-2-1, 10 KOs) in a WBA world title eliminator at the O2 Arena in Greenwich, England. The winner not only moves one step closer to a world title shot but has bragging rights as the best 175-pounder across the pond.

Richards believes that distinction belongs to him. Ranked seventh by the WBA and fourteenth by the WBC at 175, the 32-year-old has previously fought for a world title. In May 2021, he came up short in a losing bid to current WBA Super champ Dmitry Bivol. Richards wants another world title crack.

But to do that, he must overcome Buatsi, who pundits have labeled as a future world champion and a potential star since early in his career. But during an interview with Matchroom Boxing, “Spider” is not fazed by the hype surrounding his upcoming opponent.

READY TO PUT HIM TO THE TEST

“It’s an exciting fight. He’s been talked about as being the guy in the division, but I believe I’ve earned my place as ‘the guy’ in the division. People base that, for him, off speculation and, for me, off my wins. The talking is over now, and we’ll see who is number one.”

Richards looks at his fight with Bivol as indicative of how good he is. He believes he fared better against Bivol than the light heavyweight champion’s most recent opponent, Canelo Alvarez, who was previously ranked number one in 3Kings Boxing’s top ten fighter.

LEARNING FROM DEFEAT

Since the loss to Bivol, Richards bounced back with a sixth-round TKO win over Marek Matyja in October 2021. Richards is riding a wave of confidence. Despite Buatsi’s high world ranking (#2 IBF, #3 WBA, #4 WBC, #6 WBO), Richards feels his highly-touted opponent has been given soft touches up to this point. The former world title challenger plans to take him to deep water and see if he sinks or swims.

“He was tipped to be one of the fighters from that crop of Olympians to do big things. As a professional, I’ve jumped into deep waters and proved myself. I’ve been the underdog time and time again.

[…] he’s unbeaten, but I’ve had the hard fights. He’s had that amateur pedigree and has been guided into a safer journey […], but with me, I have had to jump in, sink or swim, and he’s played it safe. But the safety cap is off now.”

Reading Time: 2 minutes

By: Michael Wilson Jr.

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About Mike W.1925 Articles
Mike is the host of boxing podcast "Pound 4 Pound Boxing Report" and is a Senior Writer for 3kingsboxing.com.