All-British Showdown: Joshua Buatsi vs. Dan Azeez Clash for Bivol Title Shot

By Bob Smith - 01/31/2024 - Comments

Undefeated light heavyweight contenders Joshua Buatsi (17-0, 13 KOs) and Dan Azeez (19-0, 13 KOs) battle this Saturday night in a 12-round contest at the OVO Arena in London, England on February 3rd. The win over the #1 ranked Buatsi and #2 Azeez clash will be in line to take on WBA 175-lb champion Dmitry Bivol.

The Buatsi vs. Azeez event will be shown at 2:00 p.m. ET on Peacock.

Buatsi vs. Azeez: A Tale of Two Paths

The 2016 Olympian Buatsi has the pedigree and overall talent to win this fight comfortably against the 34-year-old Azeez.

The only problem is that Buatsi has been fighting only once a year since 2022, and it’s unclear whether he’s lost the sharpness & career motivation that he’d passed from 2017 to 2021. Did Buatsi’s war with Craig Richards in 2022 take something out of him and destroy his ambition?

In contrast, Azeez has fought two to three times a year since 2021, staying busy and fighting the best he can. The only issue with Azeez’s busy schedule is the opposition has lackluster, non-world-level competition that he’s been mowing down.

Going up against Buatsi will be a massive step up in class for Azeez, and you have to question whether he’ll be ready.

Matchroom Promoter Raises Concerns

“I don’t know how it will go; Joshua Buatsi has been so inactive,” Eddie Hearn said to the Matchroom Boxing forum.

“On paper, head-to-head, Joshua Buatsi should be dealing with Dan Azeez, but he’s not looked the fighter that I thought he might go on to be, and if he’s not on point, I think Dan Azeez would win the fight.”

The winner of the Buatsi-Azeez fight will still need to wait for their title shot for the WBA 175-lb belt. Champion Dmitry Bivol will fight IBF/WBC/WBO champ Artur Beterbiev.

“Buatsi has the potential and hopes of achieving more, but he has plateaued out a little bit. He’s been a bit inactive, and he didn’t exactly set the world alight against [Pawel] Stepian,” said Callum Smith to Boxing News, talking about Buatsi’s fight against Azeez.

“Dan Azeez is on a good run. He’s got a lot of momentum since going to Boxxer. I think it’s pretty evenly matched. It should be a good fight. Whoever gets it right on the night should come out on top, but Buatsi has potential for star quality.

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