London’s O2 Arena will play host to a huge light-heavyweight clash on Saturday between the undefeated Joshua Buatsi (15-0-0) and the increasingly impressive Craig Richards (17-2-1) as two of Britain’s best 175-pounders come face-to-face.
With both fighters emanating from the South of London, local bragging rights will be on the line as well as the opportunity for either fighter to catapult themselves towards the summit of a very competitive domestic light-heavyweight division. Buatsi enjoyed a highly-decorated career in the amateur code which culminated in a bronze medal at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, but injuries and inactivity have forced his professional career to stagnate while the rest of the division continued to move forward. The now twenty-nine-year-old picked up the British title back in 2019 but vacated the belt soon after, choosing to focus on climbing the rankings of the WBA as he seeks to land a shot at world honours in the next twelve months.
One man who will no doubt have something to say about that however is Crystal Palace’s Craig Richards, a man who himself went twelve rounds pound-for-pound star and WBA champion Dmitry Bivol in May of 2021, while also picking up Buatsi’s old Lonsdale belt the fight before with a nine-round demolition of the then champion Shakan Pitters. Richards has always felt he has never received the amount of credit his career warrants, claims which perhaps hold considerable merit, with the thirty-two-year-old seemingly always spoken about as a man who will always offer a strong challenge but never possessing the ability to come out on top with Britain’s biggest names. The Bivol performance no doubt changed the perceptions of many looking on, with ‘Spider’ not looking out of his depth across the twelve rounds in a fight which he albeit lost comfortably but was being talked about as a total mismatch during the build-up. Richards will be no doubt hoping that the momentum gathered in the last eighteen months will continue as he seeks to upset the applecart and overthrow his fellow Londoner.
Saturday’s undercard features the unified super-lightweight champion Chantelle Cameron’s (15-0-0) defence versus Victoria Noelia Bustos (23-6-0) of Argentina as a potential undisputed showdown with Kali Reis looms in the distance. Bustos has faced off with world-class opposition in the past however having gone ten rounds with both former undisputed welterweight queen Cecilia Braekhus and Christina Hammer in recent years. Cameron, despite the success she has already enjoyed in fifteen fights so far, remains one of British boxing’s best kept secrets outside of the trade and will no doubt play a big role moving forward as the female code continues to develop and grow.
Further down the card, the always entertaining Alen Babic (10-0-0) comes head-to-head with Poland’s Adam Balski (16-1-0). A dull affair is no doubt foreign to the ruthless but raw Babic and onlookers at the O2 Arena will surely be entertained again by the thirty-one-year-old’s fan-friendly style. Super-lightweight Robbie Davies Jr (22-3-0) is scheduled for ten rounds against Californian Javier Molina (22-4-0) as the former seeks to continue his assent towards world level at 140lbs having demolished an albeit diminished Henry Lundy last time out inside two rounds. Molina is no stranger to fighting world-level opposition himself, having shared a ring with the likes of Jose Pedraza previously.
Promising super-bantamweight Ellie Scotney (4-0-0) steps up again versus former IBF bantamweight champion Maria Cecilia Roman (16-6-1) as her professional development continues, while welterweight Cyrus Pattinson (3-0-0) makes his fourth professional appearance in an eight-round contest with Dimitri Trenel (8-0-0). Light-heavyweight John Hedges (5-0-0) returns over six rounds with Robert Baltaru (2-0-1), and Shiloh Defreitas (3-0-0) faces Iliyan Markov (6-19-2) at 147lbs. Tokyo 2020 Olympian Cheavon Clarke (1-0-0) also fights for the second time as a professional in a six-round cruiserweight contest against Pawel Martyniuk (4-8-0).
All the action can be found on streaming platform DAZN, with coverage of the main broadcast set to kick-off at around 19:00 UK time.köp instagram följare