Joshua Buatsi (14-0, 12 KOs) kept his perfect record intact with a highlight reel fourth-round knockout victory over Daniel Blenda Dos Santos (15-1, 8 KOs) on Saturday night in their scheduled 12 round main event fight at the AO Arena in Manchester, England.
(Photo credit: Mark Robinson/Dave Thompson/Matchroom Boxing)
Buatsi ended the fight in the 4th round after tagging the 30-year-old Dos Santos with two right hands that knocked him clean out to put him down on the canvas.
The second right hand from the 2016 Olympian Buatsi wasn’t needed because Dos Santos was falling at the time, and he appeared to be unconscious.
You can argue that Buatsi should have held back when he saw how badly hurt Dos Santos was when he fell, but you never know.
Dos Santos might have been able to get back up to continue fighting. But after Buatsi landed the second right hand, it made certain that Dos Santos wouldn’t be getting up for a long, long time.
Earlier in the contest, Buatsi knocked Dos Santos down in round two with a nice shot to the body. Dos Santos made it back up and went into a safety-first mode and showed little in the way of offense from that point on.
That knockdown took the fight out of Dos Santos entirely for all intents and purposes.
With the victory, Buatsi held onto his WBA International light heavyweight title. But more importantly, #2 Buatsi stays in a position to challenge WBA 175-lb champion Dimitry Bivol.
Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn said after the fight tonight that he wants to set up a fight between the unbeaten Bivol (18-0, 11 KOs) this summer.
Before Bivol’s last fight against Craig Richards earlier this month on May 1st, it would be unthinkable for Buatsi to have a chance of beating him.
But Bivol looked terribly flawed against Richards, and you now have to give Buatsi a better than average chance of beating him. Buatsi’s age makes it important that he put him in against Bivol now because he’s already about to turn 29.
If Buatsi can’t do it now, it’s not likely to happen for him as he creeps into his 30s. It won’t be the end of the world for Buatsi if he loses to Bivol because he’s small enough to move down to 168 to reinvent himself against fighters his own size.
At 175, Buatsi is smaller than many of the fighters in the division. While Buatsi’s lack of size isn’t negatively impacting his career right now, it may become later when he begins fighting champions Bivol, Artur Beterbiev, and Joe Smith Jr.
- Daniel Blenda Dos Santos (15-1, 8 KOs) defeated former WBA 168-lb champion Giovanni De Carolis (28-10-1, 13 KOs) by a 12 round unanimous decision to capture the vacant EBU super middleweight title. The judges scored it: 120-108, 120-108, 119-109.
- In a surprise, Jason Cunningham (29-6, 6 KOs) defeated EBU super bantamweight champion Gamal Yafai (18-2, 10 KOs) by a close 12 round unanimous decision. The scores were 15-110, 114-111, 114-111. Cunningham showed off his power in knocking Yafai down three times in the contest in dropping him in rounds 2, 4, and 6.
- European Boxing Union cruiserweight champion Tommy McCarthy (18-2, 9 KOs) destroyed challenger Alexandru Jur (19-5, 7 KOs) by a sixth-round knockout. McCarthy dropped Jur twice in the fight, knocking him down in rounds four and six.
- Undefeated light welterweight Dalton Smith (8-0, 7 KOs) beat Lee Appleyard (16-6-1, 5 KOs) by a sixth-round knockout to capture the English 140lb belt.
- Heavyweight prospect Solomon Dacres (1-0) beat Mladen Menev (3-9, 2 KOs) by a six-round points decision. The score was 60-54.