One of the great things about the Olympics is how, amongst the expected glamour and excitement brought by the big names, a new star can emerge. In boxing, British light-heavyweight Joshua Buatsi is looking like being one of the previously unknown talents set for a totally new life after the Games have reached their conclusion. The Londoner who was born in Ghana is guaranteed a bronze medal yet he is naturally aiming to go for glory and bring home a gold.
23-year-old Buatsi, who won a bronze at The European Championships in Bulgaria last year, will face Kazakhstan’s Abildek Niyazymbetov this Tuesday for a shot at fighting in the finals in Rio. One man who will be an interested observer is none other than “retired” superstar Floyd Mayweather Junior. Mayweather flew out to Rio to keep an eye out for new talent and he reportedly told Buatsi how he had heard of him even before his appearance at The Games. And Mayweather said to the light-heavyweight how he believes he will go on to become a world champion in the pros.
“He said to me he had heard about me before I got here and that I was a great fighter, a future world champion,” Buatsi said to ESPN.com. “It was good to hear that from someone like Mayweather, who I think is the greatest boxer of our generation. I want to dominate in every way I can. And 100 percent, I want more than bronze, and I will give it everything that I’ve got to make sure I get gold.”
Mayweather, who had to make do with a bronze when he represented his country at the 1996 Games in Atlanta (due to being controversially out-pointed by Serafim Todorov in a result that was officially protested, to no avail) may well be looking to sign up Buatsi, and other talent he likes the look of in Rio.
If he can capture that gold medal, Buatsi will be on his way to having a chance to achieve real greatness. What a story, for a man precious few fight fans had even heard of a month ago!