With only 10 professional outings to his name, British Light-heavyweight champion Joshua Buatsi gets a great opportunity to introduce himself to a global audience when he faces Mexico's former world title challenger Marco Antonio Periban (25-4-1) in a 10 round bout as part of the big Joshua vs Ruiz Jr undercard at Madison Square Garden on Saturday 1st June.
Buatsi has received some unfair criticism on social media regarding the quality of his opposition but matching a 10 fight novice with a man with the experience of the 35-year-old Mexican is not exactly playing it safe even though Periban has not fought in 2 years since a points defeat to the current WBC No1 Super-middleweight contender Avni Yildirim.
Prospects have to be exposed to every style of fighter and it's worth noting that Periban had a majority decision draw with Badou Jack in a NABF Super-middleweight title fight in 2013. He also has decision losses to Sakio Bika (WBC world title), J'Leon Love and Yildirim. He lost by 3rd round Tko to James DeGale at Liverpool's Echo Arena back in November 2014.
When Periban lost his shot at the vacant WBC 168lb title against Bika by majority decision, the fight was held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, he has also fought on big shows at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas so he has an edge in experience of big-time events over Buatsi.
The Croydon man did win a bronze medal at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro games so he has fought under the spotlight but walking out to fight in "The Garden" against an accomplished opponent who has done it all before will be a whole new experience for him.
Buatsi has impressed in the way he dismantles his opponents. His recent win for the vacant British 175lb title was his best win to date against a very capable fighter in Liam Conroy. Conroy came to win and caught Buatsi with some good shots, but Buatsi never lost his composure and landed his own more telling blows. Australian Renold Quinlan had faced higher level opposition than Buatsi but was no opposition for JB's accurate shots.
At 26-years-old and with his career progressing so positively, Buatsi has to be favourite to beat Periban, but can he get him out of there early?
I think he can, as early as the first quarter of the bout.