Joshua Buatsi vs. Jean Pascal ordered by IBF for 175 title eliminator
By Charles Brun: Joshua Buatsi and Jean Pascal have been ordered by the IBF to fight in a light heavyweight title eliminator bout.
This won’t make Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing happy because he had hoped to negotiate a fight between #2 WBA Buatsi (16-0, 13 KOs) and WBA 175-lb champion Dmitry Bivol for October in London.
It’s unclear why Hearn has been so anxious about throwing the 2016 Olympian Buatsi in with Bivol because of the way he performed in his recent narrow 12-round unanimous decision win over Craig Richards on May 21st; he’s not ready to tackle a talent like Bivol or IBF/WBC/WBO 175-lb champion Artur Beterbiev.
Hearn has got to do something with Buatsi before his current contract with Matchroom runs out because he’s failed to progress as a fighter despite having come out of the Olympics with high hopes.
You got to imagine Hearn might be thinking of dumping Buatsi overboard if he fails to produce in 2022, be it against Pascal or Bivol.
The World Boxing Association appears to have foiled Hearn’s plans by ordering Bivol to defend against #1 WBA Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez next.
Former WBA/WBC light heavyweight champion Pascal (36-6-1, 20 KOs) has resurrected his career, winning his last three fights since losing a one-sided 12-round unanimous decision to WBA 175-lb champion Bivol in November 2018.
In the 39-year-old Pascal’s last three fights, he’s beaten Fanlong Meng, Badou Jack, and Marcus Brown to keep his long 17-year professional career afloat.
You can argue Pascal vs. Buatsi is a 50-50 affair because the toughness factor that Jean brings to the table might be too much for Joshua.
Though the 29-year-old Buatsi is ten years younger than the 39-year-old Pascal, he doesn’t seem to possess the same courage and dog in him that the Canadian-based fighter possesses.
Some fighters are just naturally cut out for war, and Pascal is a cut from a different set of cloth than Buatsi, who often seems reluctant to mix it up.
“The IBF on Friday ordered a Joshua Buatsi-Jean Pascal light heavyweight title eliminator, Pascal’s advisor, Greg Leon, told ESPN. Eddie Hearn recently said he offered Buatsi, ESPN’s No. 7 175-pounder, a fight with Dmitry Bivol. Bivol, however, could be headed toward a mandatory title defense vs. Zurdo Ramirez. “I look forward to making the fight happen with Eddie Hearn, he’s already been informed of our interest,” Leon said. Pascal, a former champion, defeated Fanlong Meng in May,” said Mike Coppinger of ESPN.
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- Dmitry Bivol to fight in October or November against Buatsi or Ramirez