The steady progression of Joshua Buatsi's career continues when he takes on former world title challenger Blake Caparello of Greenvale, in Victoria, Australia at the Manchester Arena on November 2nd. The Matchroom Boxing show will be streamed in the USA by DAZN and televised in the UK by Sky Sports.
Buatsi gave a workmanlike performance in his last outing when he faced the teak-tough Canadian Ryan Ford on the undercard of Lomachenko vs Campbell at the O2 Arena, London on August 31st, even though Ford was stopped on what was clearly an illegal, but unintentional low blow.
Each of these step-up fights brings new experiences for the former Olympic bronze medallist (12-0-0, 10 Ko's) that he knew very little about as an amateur, such is the difference between a good amateur and his professional equivalent. Buatsi appears to be gaining a complete professional style that all being well, could see him challenging for a world title in the next 12-18 months.
Caparello will show the Croyden standout a few more moves that he will need to learn how to deal with. The 33-year-old challenged Sergey Kovalev for his WBO world light-heavyweight title back in August 2014 in Atlantic City and managed to floor the champion in the 1st round before "Krusher" turned things around in the 2nd and floored the Australian three times to force the stoppage.
Caparello dropped down to the super-middleweight division and after three fairly low key comeback bouts, returned to the USA to face Andre Dirrell, losing a 10 round unanimous decision at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, but once again showing why he is a dangerous proposition for even the very best by flooring Dirrell in the 2nd round.
Returning to the 175-pound division, Caparello fought for the vacant WBA International title against Isaac Chilemba in Melbourne, Australia, with the winner going on to challenge Dimitry Bivol for his WBA world 175lb crown, but the Malawi born Chilemba won the title by 12 round unanimous decision. Caparello came back with a 1st round Tko win over former world title challenger Trent Broadhurst and went on to win and defend the WBA Oceania title.
This is classic boxing matchmaking, pitting the relatively inexperienced former amateur star against the seasoned former title contender who is presumed to have seen his best days pass him by. Does Caparello fit into that category? Just, but he is tough and gritty so he may be able to teach us a little more about Buatsi. The Aussie is especially dangerous in the early rounds so the 26-year-old Ghanaian born Buatsi had better beware.
This could be a fight where we see Buatsi's chin and resolve truly tested early on, a 1st or 2nd round stoppage win for Caparello could be the smart outside bet. However, I think Buatsi will box carefully early on and go after the stoppage when the Aussie starts to slow down.
Prediction: Buatsi to win by stoppage inside 5 rounds.