Croydon's British Light-heavyweight champion Joshua Buatsi returns to the O2 Arena for the next step in his carefully choreographed career, when he defends his WBA International title against tough Canadian Ryan Ford over 10 rounds. The fight will be shown on DAZN in the USA and Sky Box Office in the UK.
The hope for Matchroom, the 2016 Olympic bronze medallist's promoters is to get Buatsi some much-needed ring time. When they tried stepping him up in level in his last outing against former Super-middleweight world title challenger Marco Antonio Periban, on the Joshua/Ruiz Jr undercard at MSG, Buatsi took only 4 rounds to dispose of the rugged Mexican.
Only 2 opponents have taken Buatsi to the scorecard and they were in 6 rounders in his 3rd and 6th professional outings, neither of them won a single round.
With a shot at a world title not too far away, the need for sterner tests is paramount, as we witnessed this past weekend when 175lb British rival Anthony Yarde came tantalisingly close to a massive upset against experienced campaigner Sergey Kovalev. Had Yarde had another 5-6 fights, gradually building up the level of opposition he would have known what he was going up against, instead, he was outboxed round after round by a man that had nearly as many world title fights as he did pro career bouts, oh, and one of the best jabs in boxing.
Buatsi's management has no intention of their charge fighting at the very top level until he has gained the necessary experience to give him a realistic chance of beating a reigning world champion.
Ryan Ford has an interesting story, the former MMA fighter is now 37-years old and after 20 professional boxing bouts has 16 wins and 4 losses. He has fought in Thailand, Singapore three times, Russia twice, and Germany on four occasions. Of his four losses, three were to world-class opposition and all four were by decision. Could the hard and highly accurate punching of Buatsi bring about the first stoppage defeat of Ford's career?
Ford has lost to Super-middleweights and then to a 6 fight novice in his first official 175lb bout, so he hasn't felt the power of a puncher like the Croydon man.
Prediction: Buatsi to stop the Canadian within 6 rounds.