Promoter Lou DiBella has won the purse bid today to stage the IBF light heavyweight title eliminator between Joshua Buatsi and Jean Pascal.
The winner of the Buatsi vs. Pascal fight will be the mandatory for IBF light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev, who is currently injured. Barring any further injuries, Beterbiev could potentially defend against the Buatsi-Pascal winner in 2023.
DiBella won with a bid of $975,000, which surprisingly bettered Matchroom Boxing’s bid of $875,000.
According to Dan Rafael, DiBella will show the Buatsi vs. Pascal fight on BT Sport in the UK. There’s no word which network will show it in the U.S, if any.
Pascal is a tough fight for the 2016 Olympian Buatsi (16-0, 13 KOs), who just barely squeaked by Craig Richards last May by a narrow 12 round unanous decision. Richards had Buatsi hurt at one point in the fight, but was unable to finish the job.
The 39-year-old former WBC 175-lb champion Pascal (36-6-1, 20 KOs) has a three-fight winning streak since losing a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision to Dmitry Bivol in 2018.
In Pascal’s last three fights, he’s beaten Meng Fanlong, Badou Jack and Marcus Browne.
Good chance @boxingbuatsi vs. @jeanpascalchamp winds up BT Sport in the UK in a deal between DiBella and Frank Warren. The split of the $975k purse bid is 60-40 in Buatsi's favor ($585k to $390k). #boxing https://t.co/T0C5wphmQq
— Dan Rafael (@DanRafael1) August 30, 2022
Promoter Eddie Hearn had hoped to put a fight together between Buatsi and WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitriy Bivol, but the World Boxing Association wrecked those plans by Ordering Bivol to defend against his mandatory Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez next. Those two will be fighting on November 5th.
For Hearn, it’s important that he gets a title shot for the five-year pro Buatsi because his career has failed to take off despite him fighting in the 2016 Olympics.
“It’s unclear what Hearn expected from Buatsi when he signed him to his Matchroom Boxing stable, but he’s done nothing to warrent keeping him on if he fails to capture a world title soon. If Buatsi loses to Pascal or Beterbiev, it won’t be a shock if Hearn gives him his walking papers next year.
Pascal is one of those types of fighters that is somehow able to keep fighting at a high level despite his advanced age. He’s blessed with speed and power, which has enabled him to continue to compete with the best.