By Nick Parkinson, courtesy of The Daily Star
JOSHUA BUATSI missed out on the top prize at the Olympics and is determined to make sure it does not happen again in the professional ranks.
The light-heavyweight from Croydon makes his professional debut at the O2 in London on Saturday after wining bronze at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
Buatsi, 24, delayed the start of paid career so he could finish a Sports Science and Management degree at St Mary’s University.
And he has some sound advisors helping him make his way in the boxing world – he is being promoted by Eddie Hearn and managed by world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua.
Buatsi said: “I missed the top prize at the Olympics and turning professional is all about becoming world champion for me.
“I couldn’t say how long it is going to take me to achieve it, but that’s the goal. For Anthony Joshua, it came at the right time and he did it under four years.
“I chose AJ and his team to manage me because he’s come from the same Olympic background as me and he has done really well since. They will know how to move around in the pro ranks commercially and have learned the best way to manage an Olympic medallist.”
Buatsi’s dream of getting his hands on light-heavyweight gold in Brazil ended with defeat in the semi-final to Adilbek Niyazymbetov of Kazakhstan.
His opponent on Saturday has yet to be confirmed but featuring on the same bill will be Watford featherweight Reece Bellotti.
He faces Jamie Speight after working as an electrician on film sets alongside the likes of Tom Cruise, Daniel Radcliffe and Daniel Craig.
He said: “I’ve worked on quite a few different films, the latest Bond – Spectre – and I worked on Harry Potter back in the day, Game Of Thrones, Downton Abbey.
“Daniel Radcliffe is the actor I’ve had the most interaction with. You don’t really have the time to have a massive conversation with them but he’s probably the most polite out of the ones I’ve met, where they’re too busy to talk to you.
“He’ll say hello and go around being nice to all the sparks. Tom Cruise is the most famous star that I’ve worked on the set for – his recent film The Mummy. I try to work it around the fights.”