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Boxing Results: Joshua Buatsi stops Marko Calic in 7th round

Image: Boxing Results: Joshua Buatsi stops Marko Calic in 7th round

By Mark Eisner: Undefeated light heavyweight contender Joshua Buatsi got off to a poor start, but he could get it together to stop a game but limited Marko Calic in the 7th round on Sunday night at the Marshall Arena at Stadium MK in Milton Keynes, England.

(Photo credit: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing)

Fighting with a closed left eye from early in the contest, WBA International light heavyweight champion Buatsi (13-0, 11 KOs) hurt the 33-year-old Calic (11-1, 6 KOs) with a big shot that put him down.

The 27-year-old Buatsi then finished Calic with a fellow up barrage of punches, which caused the Croatian’s corner to have the fight stopped by throwing in the towel.

Buatsi doesn’t look ready for a title shot

The official time of the stoppage was at 2:09 of round seven.  Buatsi was underwhelming, and his promoters at Matchroom Boxing may need to reconsider any ideas of putting him in with one of the world champions at 175.

The 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Buatsi doesn’t look remotely ready to take on IBF/WBC champ Artur Beterbiev or WBA champion Dmitry Bivol for their titles. Bivol is interested in defending against Buatsi in December if he’s game, but that could be a mistake if Matchroom lets that fight happen.

With Buatsi struggling badly to beat the light-hitting Calic, he won’t do well against a skilled fighter like Bivol or the knockout artist Beterbiev.

With Buatsi’s win, he’ll stay in the hunt for a world title shot. It’ll be up to his promoters whether they want to let him challenge for a world title in December or wait a year before letting him fight Bivol, Beterbiev, or WBA secondary champion Jean Pascal. Buatsi is currently ranked WBA #2, IBF #3, WBC #12, and WBO #14.

It would be risky for Matchroom to let Buatsi take on the heavy-handed Callum Johnson. Although Buatsi has excellent power and good offensive skills, he’s really easy to hit, and it would be bad for him if Callum were able to land his shots.

Image: Boxing Results: Joshua Buatsi stops Marko Calic in 7th round

Joshua can be successful as a contender

Buatsi has good power, but that’s all he has going for him right now. From what he showed tonight against Calic, the wheels would come off if he were put in with a good contender. Forget about Buatsi challenging for a world title.

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He’s too green right now to go up against one of the belt-holders, even an older champion like Pascal would be a nightmare.

All of this is academic. We already saw the flaws in Buatsi’s game in the Olympics four years ago, and he hasn’t improved at all since then. Matchroom took a risk in signing Buatsi, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to pay off.

it looks like Matchroom is using the same slow approach with Buatsi as they’ve been doing with heavyweight Dillian Whyte.

Without Dillian fighting for a world title, Matchroom has turned him into a pay-per-view fighter on Sky Box office with their careful match-making. If they can do that with Buatsi in the next three years, he’ll make a lot of money just as a contender.

Marko Calic came to fight

“Calic didn’t come to mack up the numbers. He was a good fighter, and unbeaten,” said Buatsi after the fight. “He had a lot more when he was in there. People didn’t know about him, but that was the spectators and the public. But within our camp and our team, we know he was a good fighter. We bit down on our gum-shield and got the win.

Image: Boxing Results: Joshua Buatsi stops Marko Calic in 7th round

“I think I hurt him earlier in that round, and the referee was thinking of stopping it. I was looking at him and thinking, ‘Damn, this guy is hurt,’ but the referee has to step in or I’m going to have to do what I have to do.

“But the corner threw in the towel. I told the referee, ‘They’re flagging the towel.’The referee has to go in there or else I’m going to have to do what I have to do. It’s a dangerous sport.

“I guess the right decision was made. It’s a gentlemen’s sport and it’s a credit to him,” said Buatsi about Calic, who suffered a jaw injury in the fight. “I wish him good health. Big respect to him. He came and gave me a good run for my money. I have more spect for him now.

“There’s nothing personal. I’m safe and I hope he’s safe as well,” Buatsi said. “In the third round, I felt a thumb,” said Joshua in explaining how his left eye was injured. “Whether it was a thumb or a punch, whichever way around and then my eye swelled up.

Then the vision went for a round or two. I said, ‘Bite down on the gum-shield, we’re still in here to fight. This is a fight, and this is professional boxing.’ These are the things that were running through my head. I came out on top and I’m grateful for that.

Image: Boxing Results: Joshua Buatsi stops Marko Calic in 7th round

Joshua had a lot of time to work with

“I had 12 rounds to get rid of him, and it happened in the 7th, I believe so,” said Buatsi. It’s 12 rounds, and it’s professional boxing. And it’s not a six-rounder or an eight-rounder. It’s 12, and I said, ‘One of us is going to get tired first and I was determined it wasn’t going to be me. It’s never going to be me.’ But big credit to him as always.

“Seven rounds, he gave me a good run for my money. He switched southpaw, I believe and the right hand landed. Once it landed, I said, ‘Okay, this is it.’ Most importantly, I hope he’s safe. I’ve got this [swollen left eye] to deal with. I hope his jaw is alright and everything is blessed, man.

“When you get in the ring, no one can help you but yourself,” said Buatsi. “We’ll get there, and I’m sure Eddie [Hearn] can make these fights happen. It’s up to myself, my team, and Eddie to come together and agree [on his next opponent]. But like I said before, once I’m in the ring, I’m here to fight.

“If it happens, it happens. I’ll be there,” Joshua said about him challenging for a title against IBF/WBC light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev. “I have to go back and watch it, but being in the moment, it was amazing. Credit to Sky Sports and Matchroom Boxing, you guys always step up.

Image: Boxing Results: Joshua Buatsi stops Marko Calic in 7th round

Chantelle Camero decisions Adriana Dos Santos Araujo

WBC female super lightweight champion Chantelle Cameron (13-0, 7 KOs) defeated Adriana Dos Santos Araujo (6-1, 1 KO) by a 10 round unanimous decision. The scores were 100-90, 100-90, and 100-90. Boxing News 24 gave it to Cameron 10 rounds to 0. She was a much better fighter than her opponent Araujo.

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Cameron was skillfully jabbing and slipping the right-hand power shots that Araujo was throwing. Araujo looked slow and not in the greatest shape for the fight. It’s unclear whether the lockdown got in the way of her training or what, but she wasn’t in top form tonight.

Alen Babic destroys Niall Kennedy

The big punching cruiserweight Alen Babic (5-0, 5 KOs) defeated Niall Kennedy (13-2-1, 8 KOs) by a fifth-round knockout. The 29-year-old Croatian dropped Kennedy in rounds two and five. The time of the stoppage was at 0:34.

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Linus Udofia TKOs John Harding Jr

Showing off his power, English middleweight champion Linus Udofia (16-0, 8 KOs) blasted out John Harding Jr (8-2-1, 2 KOs) in the 9th round.

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