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Joshua Buatsi to face Jean Pascal in IBF light-heavyweight title eliminator

BY: Bernard Neequaye
Joshua Buatsi
Joshua Buatsi

Ghanaian-born British Olympic bronze medalist, Joshua 'Just Business' Buatsi is moving closer to a world title shot after an emphatic win over Craig 'Spider' Richards.

Long identified as one of the UK’s brightest boxing prospects, the British IBF light-heavyweight boxer could be a leading contender for the WBA light-heavyweight world title if he can beat Canada-based Haitian Jean Pascal.

There have been speculations over who Buatsi, 29, would fight next. With a striking record of (16-0, 13 KOs), Buatsi would become a mandatory challenger for the IBF light-heavyweight belt being held by unified champion Artur Beterbiev (18-0, 18 KOs) if he can defeat Pascal.

Following a purse bid, Lou DiBella’s company, DiBella Entertainment secured the Buatsi v Pascal bout with a bid of $975,000, topping Eddie Hearn and Matchroom’s $875,000.

The fight, an IBF title eliminator, is expected to take place in the UK – as confirmed by Frank Warren, who tweeted DiBella once the purse bid results had been reported.

Despite the ongoing discussions of finalising a date, platform and location for the Buatsi-Pascal fight, Buatsihas already headed to the US to train with renowned boxing coach Virgil Hunter for the next couple of months till his official announcement.

Hunter was also responsible for leading former two-weight world champion Andre Ward to an unbeaten career and Amir Khan to world titles.

In an interview with the Graphic Online, Buatsi described having Hunter in his corner as 'a big plus' and said he was looking forward to bringing a world title fight to Ghana in the near future.

"I dream of taking world title fights to my homeland Ghana in the prospective future, but for now I am focused on the most important test of my career, the forthcoming world title shot."