Boxing results: Joshua Buatsi defeats Pawel Stepien

By Boxing News - 05/06/2023 - Comments

By Barry Holbrook: Unbeaten, highly ranked light heavyweight contender Joshua Buatsi (17-0, 13 KOs) boxed his way to a one-sided 10 round unanimous decision over Pawel Stepien (18-1-1, 12 KOs) on Saturday Resorts World Arena in Birmingham, England.

The 2016 Olympian Buatsi stayed in first gear most of the fight, only occasionally opening up to land combinations and small flurries against the cautious Stepien.

The scores were 98-92, 97-94, and 100-90.

For the most part, the 30-year-old Buatsi was content to throw jabs and single right hands from the outside, not wanting to open up and leave himself vulnerable to being countered by the fringe contender Stepien.

Buatsi was coming off a year layoff since his last fight against Craig Richards in May 2022, so that might be the explanation for why he stayed in first gear the entire contest.

Goodness knows Buatsi needed the rounds badly to get the ring rust off, so it’s entirely possible that he purposefully kept his offense under wraps so he could go the distance to badly needed practice.

Buatsi, WBA #1, WBO #2, WBC #3, IBF #13, wants to challenge IBF/WBC/WBO light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev next. He already declined to fight WBA 175-lb champion Dmitry Bivol recently while still signed with Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn.

“Of course, I wanted to knock him out. The people came to see. There were lights, camera, action,” said Buatsi to Secondsout after the contest.

YouTube video

If Buatsi is serious about wanting to fight Beterbiev next, it makes sense for him to have boxed the way he did because he won’t last long against the hard-punching champion if he tries to slug with him the way he did against Craig Richards a year ago. Richard had Buatsi hurt several times in that fight.

What we saw tonight from Buatsi was a trial run for a title shot against Beterbiev, but style probably won’t work unless the fight is staged in the UK and it goes the distance. The judges were very generous to Anthony Yarde in his recent fight against Beterbiev in London last January.

Stepien, ranked IBF #4, WBA #13, WBC #14, WBO #14, suffers the first career loss. Stepien will need to be more aggressive in future fights if he wants to go anywhere in the sport because he was too passive tonight. He’s not going to beat any of the top-level fighter co

In the undercard, 2020 Olympian Ben Whittaker (3-0, 2 KOs) stopped Jordan ‘The Game’ Grant (6-3, 1 KO) in the third round in light heavyweight contender.

Whittaker knocked Grant down in the second round. In the third, Grant’s corner threw in the towel.  Referee Chris Deaan stopped it at 0:13 in round three.

Lauren Price (4-0, 1 KO) defeated Kirstie Bavington (7-4-2, 2 KOs) by a ten round unanimous decision to capture the British women’s championship fight. The scores were 100-90, 100-90, and 100-90.