2016 Olympic Bronze medalist Joshua Buatsi faces a fellow British fighter and former world title challenger Craig Richards in a high stakes clash for the light heavyweight division live on DAZN from the O2 Arena, London. Joshua Buatsi vs Craig Richards is DAZNs first UK show since Conor Benn’s emphatic victory over Chris van Heerden five weeks ago as he pushes closer to the world title challenge like our main event fighters on Saturday look to do so in the battle of South London.
Buatsi (15-0) competes in a 50-50 contest for the first time in his career against Richards (17-2-1). This is Joshua Buatsi’s first outing since his career-best win against the golden contract winner Ricardo Bolotniks; scoring an 11th round TKO of the Latvian last August.
He was originally scheduled to face Vlasov, who came off a tight defeat to current WBO champion Joe Smith Jnr, in what would also be a 50-50 fight on the Chisora Parker undercard. After pulling out with a hand injury and more career inactivity, Buatsi decided he wanted to go straight into the biggest fights in the division and starts that journey with Craig Richards.
The 258-managed Croydon man has also had more time to train under boxing royalty Vergil Hunter so we might see him implement more patience and economic work in this fight. What cannot be overlooked is the power of Buatsi, he has 13 KOs in 15 fights and will be looking to make an emphatic statement here by being the first man to stop Craig Richards.
Richards is a well established British fighter hungry for a world title shot. The 32-year-old knows this might be his last chance to break through so all will be left on the line on Saturday. Craig came up short by two rounds against Russian superstar Dimitri Bivol who just beat P4P number one Canelo Alvarez. It has been suggested that if Richards put his foot on the gas early he could have come out victorious proving to the public the south Londoner is no one to mess with.
Joshua Buatsi vs Craig Richards Undercard
On Chief Support, Unified WBC and IBF super-lightweight champion Chantelle Cameron (15-0) defends her belts against Argentina’s Victoria Bustos (23-6). Cameron was supposed to be facing Kali Reis for the WBO and WBA woman’s super lightweight championship to complete the finals of the undisputed. In Semi-Final 1, she beat Mary McGee by unanimous decision in a great fight but dominant display.
Her opponent Bustos has fought some of the woman’s boxing top names in Cecilia Braekhus and Irish sensation Katie Taylor coming up short both times, but pushing the opponents to the limits and gaining experience in both of those fights which she will need to have any chance of upsetting Cameron. It’s unlikely Bustos will be able to put a dent in Chantelle as she has scored 0 KOs in her 29 fight career.
Also on the Joshua Buatsi vs Craig Richards undercard, Alen Babic (10-0) faces Polish fighter Adam Balski (16-1) in by far the toughest challenge of his career. Babic-Balski is also for the WBC Silver Bridgerweight title as well as a bridgerweight world title eliminator for Oscar Rivas. The fan-friendly style Babic possesses means he is in war after war as the Croatian fighter disregards defence and swings bombs from the word go every time with his opponents left with no choice but to fight fire with fire.
However, this tactic nearly cost him his last fight against David Spilmont who hurt Babic in the fight with the jab coming in and knocked him down, but he couldn’t finish Babic who scored a KO in the sixth. However, Babic will not be able to do the same against Balski and will need to use his distinguished amateur pedigree. Balski’s sole defeat comes to former European Cruiserweight champion Mateusz Masternak.
Liverpool’s Robbie Davies Jnr (22-3) takes on American Javier Molina (22-4) for the WBA continental super lightweight championship. This is another great fight on the card both with similar records and both fighters coming towards the end of their careers hoping for one last hurrah. Robbie Davies Jnr impressed in his first two bouts under Shane McGuigan scoring two KOs over Johnny Phillips and Hank Lundy showing serious power and will be looking to force another stoppage win on Saturday.
His opponent Javier Molina has been in there with very good welterweights so he will be the bigger man Saturday night, but can he cope with losing the extra pounds to make weight. Molina has fought Jamal James, Jose Pedraza and many more showing he has the experience and the top level and not being stopped by any of these fighters proving his durability.
Starting off the Joshua Buatsi vs Craig Richards main card is Catfords Ellie Scotney (4-0). The standout amateur looks to progress quickly through the ranks in her fight against Maria Cecilia Roman (16-6-1) for the WBA Intercontinental super bantamweight title. The experienced 39-year-old Roman is coming off the back of a very recent defeat to now IBF champion Ebanie Bridges by unanimous decision where her age played a factor as her work rate that was once very high faded, but she is still a top operator and Scotneys toughest test.
Joshua Buatsi vs Craig Richards Preliminary Action
On the Joshua Buatsi vs Craig Richards before the bell, Tokyo 2020 Cruiserweight Olympian Cheavon Clarke (1-0), who scored an exciting KO on his debut in February, fights Poland’s Pawel Martyniuk (4-8). Ultimately, Clarke will look to impress as he rises through the ranks on a fast-tracked route.
Tricky southpaw Cyrus Pattinson (3-0) looks to continue his progress building into a strong welterweight against French prospect Dimitri Trenel (8-0) who will look to keep his progress and vault the hype train of Pattinson. Trenel is unbeaten in eight contests and has fought an 8-rounder before showing his level is significantly higher than any Pattinson opponent to date this is a good battle of prospects but Pattinson should have too much pedigree for Trenel.
20-year-old 175-pounder John Hedges (5-0) faces undefeated Portuguese Robert Baltaru (2-0-1). The 6”5 light heavyweight John Hedges will look to use his size and growing power to stop the unbeaten Portuguese fighter and impress in front of his large fanbase.
Opening the Joshua Buatsi vs Craig Richards card, 23-year-old Welterweight Shilo Defreitas (3-0) meets Bulgarian journeyman Iliyan Markov (6-19-2). We saw Defreitas in action at Ally Pally on the Jacobs-Ryder card and his talent was very impressive which has earned him another slot on a Matchroom show, he will look to showcase his skills fluently again and continue to compete on big shows. Markov fought Nathan Heaney last year and is definitely no pushover.
What time does the Joshua Buatsi vs Craig Richards Prelims Start? 4:30 BST
What time does the Joshua Buatsi vs Craig Richards Main Card Start? 7:00 BST
Where is Joshua Buatsi vs Craig Richards taking place? The O2 Arena, London
How many people will attend Joshua Buatsi vs Craig Richards? There is expected to be 5,000 at The O2
What Channel will Joshua Buatsi vs Craig Richards be broadcasted on? DAZN (Except Aus/NZ)