Eddie Hearn states that he’s made an offer to #2 WBA Joshua Buatsi for him to challenge WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol next.
It’s unclear why Hearn is pushing so hard for Bivol to fight Buatsi because the British fighter isn’t even popular in the UK, much less in the U.S.
You got to wonder if Hearn is second-guessing his decision to sign Buatsi to his Matchroom Boxing stable after he came out of the 2016 Olympics.
To be sure, in Buatsi’s five years as a professional, there’s been a failure to launch in terms of his popularity. He hasn’t caught on with the UK fans, and a big part of that is lackluster opposition and not staying busy enough.
You can’t blame Hearn for at least trying to get value out of Buatsi in the time he has left on his contract with Matchroom, but it’ll be surprising if Hearn re-signs him.
If Buatsi (16-0, 13 KOs) accepts the offer, the fight could take place in October. This would be a fight for domestic UK consumption only, though, the 29-year-old British fighter Buatsi isn’t well known in the U.S, and there’s no demand for Americans to see him challenge Bivol.
U.S fans would prefer to see Bivol (20-0, 11 KOs) fight IBF/WBC/WBO light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev for the undisputed 175-lb championship next, NOT Buatsi, who looked poor in his recent razor-thin 12-round decision victory Craig ‘Spider’ Richards on May 21st.
If not Beterbiev, fans want to see Bivol face Canelo Alvarez in a rematch or Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez. These are both interesting fights for Bivol, but Buatsi isn’t on the radar for Americans.
“We want [Joshua] Buatsi to fight Bivol. We’ve made an offer now to Buatsi to fight Bivol, which we want to make sure he’s happy with, and hopefully, we can make that fight,” said Eddie Hearn to Pro Boxing Fans.
“It’s not done yet, it’s not signed, but we’re seeing if we can make the numbers work,” said Hearn.
Buatsi’s recent wins
- Craig Richards
- Ricards Bolotniks
- Ryan Ford
- Marko Calic
- Marco Antonio Periban
- Daniel Blenda Dos Santos
If you’re Bivol, you’d be better off going in a different direction than fighting Buatsi for his next fight. Bivol needs to focus on the U.S market by facing a recognizable name like Gilberto Ramirez or David Benavidez.
Although Benavidez fights at 168, Hearn could lure him up to 175 for a fight against Bivol if he made a big enough offer to him. Benavidez is essentially a light heavyweight, and would likely have the weight advantage over Bivol on the night of the fight.