After a hand injury forced Terri Harper to pull out of her super-featherweight unification showdown with Hyun-Mi Choi in the main event of a Matchroom card at the AO Arena in Manchester on Saturday May 15, it is now up to rising British light-heavyweight star, Joshua Buatsi (13-0, 11 KO’s), to lead the way. There will also be three European title fights on the card, live on Sky Sports in the UK and Dazn in the US and more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.
Fans are keeping tabs on Buatsi in what is widely believed to be an inevitable journey towards a world title shot, and the Brit is returning against an undefeated Frenchman, Daniel Blenda Dos Santos (15-0, 8 KO’s) to defend his WBA International light-heavyweight title.
In a big career move, Buatsi recently linked up with American-based trainer Virgil Hunter, who oversaw Andre Ward’s Hall of Fame career, and this will be the pair’s first fight together.
Buatsi is a good all-round fighter already. However, it is all potential with Buatsi at the moment, and constant seasoning and experience-gaining is key. A huge positive for Buatsi is that in his previous fight against Croatian Marko Calic in a very tough outing, Buatsi proved that he has the intangibles to go along with his skill-set to pull through adversity when required. Hopefully, Dos Santos, although having only fought three opponents with winning records in his 15-fight career thus far, can assist Buatsi in his character building towards light-heavyweight glory.
"I've got an unbeaten opponent, that makes him ambitious,” Buatsi said when speaking to Sky Sports.
"Obviously the first fight under Virgil, so it should be interesting. I'm looking forward to showing what I've been working on with Virgil.
"He's going to want to hold onto his undefeated record, as I am. When that's at stake you really dig deep.
"It's mainly Hunter’s style that I like. Each of his fighters translate it differently. The public haven't seen how good I can be, or I will be.”
Undefeated super-middleweight prospect Lerrone Richards (14-0, 3 KO’s), former Commonwealth and British 168lbs champion, is taking another stride towards a title shot in the future by fighting Giovanni De Carolis (28-9-1, 13 KO’s) for the vacant EBU European title.
After winning the vacant EBU European cruiserweight title by defeating Bilal Laggoune in October 2020, Tommy Mccarthy (17-2, 8 KO’s) will be making his first defence of the European crown against Alexandru Jur (19-4, 7 KO’s), hailing from Romania.
In yet another European title fight, after picking up the title in December 2020 with a victory against Luca Rigoldi, Gamal Yafai (18-1, 10 KO’s) will also be making the first defence of his European title at super-bantamweight against Jason Cunningham (28-6, 6 KO’s).
Up and coming 24-year-old super-lightweight prospect from Sheffield, Dalton Smith (7-0, 6 KO’s), currently one of the best young prospects in the UK, will finally meet Bramley’s Lee Appleyard (16-5-1) after their initially planned showdown in February was cancelled after Appleyard contracted Covid-19.
Sina Latif of SimBoxx
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