The battle for bragging rights in London goes down this Saturday afternoon in the United States streaming live on Peacock and on Sky Sports across the pond. Joshua Buatsi and Dan Azeez have shared the ring while sparring, but this time, the stakes are much higher.
Can Joshua Buatsi get his career pointed back in the right direction? Can Dan Azeez pull off an upset that no one would’ve seen coming just a few years ago? One thing is for sure: Wembley Arena will be full of pride cheering on this local derby.
Compared to Azeez, Joshua Buatsi had a lot more hype turning professional, coming off a bronze medal performance in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games. Not only does Buatsi have the amateur pedigree, but in the pro ranks, he has far more experience than his opponent on Saturday.
Buatsi got those important rounds to develop versus solid foes like Ricards, Bolontniks, and especially Craig Richards. At the moment, Buatsi’s career is stuck in neutral, having fought just one time in 2022 and 2023. Inactivity could catch up to him versus a guy like Azeez, who will be gunning for him the whole 12 rounds.
Although Dan Azeez turned pro in 2017, the same year as Joshua Buatsi, it was more of a grind to get to this point. Dan fought on small room shows, making scraps for pay, all with one goal in mind. Azeez isn’t nearly as technical as Buatsi, yet slowly but surely, he’s managed to round into form. An old Rocky Fielding is the best name on Dan’s resume. Although Azeez hasn’t faced much in the way of quality boxers, he’s gotten a fair amount of rounds under his belt. Twice he’s been 10-rounds and twice the 12-round distance, which is important if this main event gets to the late frames.
For Joshua, it all starts with his stellar jab, discipline, and good punching power. Buatsi is the more talented and fundamental boxer. He has a great right hand, but his overall punch volume needs to increase a bit in this matchup. We should know early on if the rust factor from being inactive will be an issue. Look for Buatsi to fight at range in the early goings and possibly all the way outside, depending on how much pressure Azeez applies.
Dan Azeez has an underrated jab and a compact guard as he makes his way on the inside. His best punch is an overhand right, and he’s a very good body puncher. Dan will have to cut the ring off. Closing the distance is a must so as not to be at the end of Buatsi’s punches. The biggest question for Azeez is whether he will be able to get past Buatsi’s length and accurate jab. If he can cut the distance and let loose with punches to the head and body, he can make this a long night for his fellow Londoner. If you’re leaning towards Azeez, you can find him around +300 in the underdog role.
My Official Prediction is Joshua Buatsi by Unanimous Decision.
Side Note: Connor Benn makes his return to fighting in America strangely in the afternoon for the UK DAZN audience.
Weigh In Results:
Joshua Buatsi 174 vs. Dan Azeez 172.5
Adam Azim 140 vs. Enock Poulsen 139.5
Ben Whittaker 175.5 vs. Khalid Graidia 176
Caroline Dubois 134.5 vs. Miranda Reyes 134
Jeamie TKV 263 vs. Kostiantyn Dovbyshchenko 255
Francesca Hennessy 125.5 vs. Lauren Valdebenito 125
Written by Chris Carlson, Host/Producer of The Rope A Dope Radio Podcast Available at www.blogtalkradio.com/ropeadoperadio Follow on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio
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