Joshua Buatsi is adamant that a win over Liam Conroy in their British title fight this weekend should confirm him as the number 1 light-heavyweight in the country.
The 26-year-old from Croydon has his eyes set on the Lonsdale belt in just his 10th outing as a pro as he meets Conroy in the squared circle on the undercard for Charlie Edwards’ WBC title fight against Angel Moreno at the Copper Box Arena on Saturday night.
Domestic rivals Callum Johnson and fellow Londoner Anthony Yarde also make up an exciting stacked 175lbs division, but Buatsi is looking to show that he belongs above his British counterparts.
Speaking to the media Buatsi has been quoted as saying “I think solely whoever is British champion at the time, unless someone has got a world title – that makes you No 1 in the country,”
“On March 23, that’s what I’m fighting for, that’s what I will be getting.
“Once I have that belt, I don’t want to hear anything from anyone. Unless you’ve got that belt and you’re in that division, don’t talk about anything else.
“Unless you’re a world champion, then I’ll hear you, but if you’re not, it’s obvious who is No 1.”
Yarde has been mandated by the WBO as the mandatory challenger for Sergey Kovalev’s world title, although Buatsi is not certain whether the 27-year-old from Hackney will grab the chance with both hands at this stage of his career.
“I think he would only fight Kovalev if his team felt this was the right time,” said Buatsi.
“I don’t think it would be any time soon for them to fight Kovalev.
“If they do, it means that they feel like their man is ready, and Kovalev is about 37 now. It might be the right time.
“Timing is important, even Yarde says that, and it is important. If it were to happen in the next month or two, it may be too early for him, but next few months, a year down the line, it might be the right time.”
Asked to pick a winner, the 2016 Olympian went onto say: “Now? I still give it to Kovalev. He’s old, but he’s very experienced, and he can still punch.“
With two unbeaten records at stake its clear that Buatsi can understand the constant speculation over a ever growing rivalry with Yarde, and remains confident that he will be the man who will triumph in the ring.
“I haven’t got a crystal ball, but I would definitely win the fight, hands down,” said Buatsi.
“When I’m in there, you have to win. No matter who it is, I have to win. Obviously you take calculated moves and you pick who you fight at what time, so when that fight does happen, if it does happen, I’m 100 per cent sure I’ll win.
“We know my style, we know how I fight. It’s just how his style can take it, but when it’s time to fight, I come all out. I’m not there fiddling about, having a tickle as Tyson Fury says. I’m in there going all out.”
Watch Joshua Buatsi against Liam Conroy on the undercard as Charlie Edwards defends WBC title against Angel Moreno, on Saturday, from 7pm on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Action.
By Kenny Leavett.