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Joshua Buatsi vs. Craig Richards this Saturday, May 21st live on DAZN

Image: Joshua Buatsi vs. Craig Richards this Saturday, May 21st live on DAZN

By Barry Holbrook: Joshua Buatsi and Craig Richards square off this Saturday, May 21st, in a 12-round headliner live on DAZN from the O2 Arena in London, England. The streaming portion of the event starts at 2:00 p.m. ET.

The Buatsi vs. Richards winner will be in a position to challenge WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol.

Last year, the 32-year-old Richards gave Bivol all he could handle in a tough scrap in losing a close 12-round unanimous decision. It’s unclear how motivated Bivol was for that fight, however, as he seemed to lose interest after dominating the first five rounds with ease.

What we did see from that fight was the punching power of Richards and his aggressiveness.

He put constant pressure on Bivol, and he landed a number of hard shots. It’s fair to say that Richards did much better against Bivol than Canelo Alvarez did a week ago, as that was a one-sided affair.

Buatsi-Richards undercard:

Alen Babic vs. Adam Balski
Robbie Davies Jr. vs. Javier Molina
Chantelle Cameron vs. Victoria Moelia Bustos
Ellie Scotney vs. Maria Cecilia Roman
Cheavon Clarke vs. Pawel Martyniuk
John Hedges vs. Robert Balturu
Shiloh Defreitas vs. Iliyan Markov
Cyrus Pattinson vs. Dimitri Trenei

Richards (17-2-1, 10 KOs) has a puncher’s chance of beating the undefeated 2016 Olympian Buatsi (15-0, 13 KOs), but he’s going to need to go for it early.

If this fight stretches into the second half, it’s more likely than not that Buatsi will finish Richards.

Promoter Eddie Hearn likes Buatsi’s chances of unseating WBA champion Bivol if given a chance. Buatsi needs to focus more on his boxing skills for him to defeat a fighter like Bivol, though, as he’s too much of a one-dimensional slugger at this early juncture of his career.

He seems to have ignored his boxing skills altogether, and he may be out of his league when he gets in there with Bivol or the other two champions at 175 in Artur Beterbiev and Joe Smith Jr.

β€œI am the best in the country,” said Buatsi. β€œThe truth is, though, we haven’t fought each other. Spider is the first Light-Heavyweight in Britain that I am boxing, so from there, I can make a point of it.

Everyone can say they are the best, but until someone gets a World title to separate themselves, then everyone has a point to make, and we are the first to really fight,” said Buatsi.

If Buatsi, 29, is able to beat Richards, he can call himself #1 in the UK at 175, but that doesn’t mean much. For Buatsi to really gain something, he’s got to capture one of the world titles.

It’s too bad that he can boil down to 168, as he would have the opportunity to fight undisputed champion Canelo Alvarez for his belts and make a lot of money in doing so.

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