HomeBoxingJoshua Buatsi Out Of Contract With Matchroom, Hearn Reveals Matching Rights

Joshua Buatsi Out Of Contract With Matchroom, Hearn Reveals Matching Rights

Joshua Buatsi Now A Promotional Free Agent, Bivol/Yarde, What’s The Best Choice?

Ghanian-British Light Heavyweight contender Joshua Buatsi (16-0, 13 KOs) is now out of contract with Matchroom Boxing, promoter Eddie Hearn revealed to IFL TV.

Hearn told the outlet that despite Buatsi’s contract coming to an end, Matchroom still has matching rights on his career which would allow them to equal any offer made.

The British promoter revealed that he ‘intends to make sure (Buatsi) remains a Matchroom fighter’ and he believes that is the mindset of the 2016 Olympian as well.

After an encouraging start to his pro career in July 2017, Joshua Buatsi has struggled with activity over the last few years managing just four bouts in the last three years compared to the twelve occasions he fought on in the two years prior to that.

The highly-rated contender beat domestic rival Craig Richards in the battle of south London in his last contest over eight months ago. Buatsi was supposed to challenge WBA champion Dmitry Bivol before the organization imposed a mandatory on Bivol.

A Jean Pascal IBF final eliminator then became the focus but disputes over VADA testing meant Buatsi pulled out of the ordered fight. Buatsi enters 2023 looking for a big fight, Hearn intends to match Buatsi with his champion Bivol in May and deliver the overdue world title shot for him.

On Saturday, however, Buatsi was working on punditry for BT Sport during Anthony Yarde‘s tremendous performance against unified champion Artur Beterbiev, where he fell narrowly short.

Buatsi vs Yarde is one of the biggest fights in British boxing and Yarde’s team seems keen to make the bout now with Buatsi being a free agent. Last year, Hearn offered Yarde £1m to fight Buatsi but he turned it down citing his mandatory position for Beterbiev. Now with Yarde coming off a loss where his stock has once again risen, this could be the perfect time to make the fight.

Buatsi has two major options in front of him, either re-sign with Matchroom or move over to Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions for a Yarde PPV fight. However, it is not that simple as Hearn retains matching rights on Buatsi and if he wants to, he will be able to keep Buatsi as long as he’s willing to equal the offer. Buatsi may also choose a world title shot over a domestic fight that can be made anyway, win or lose to Bivol.

Buatsi vs Bivol, Buatsi vs Yarde, Or Both?

By Darshan Desai

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