The stagnating light heavyweight division was dealt another blow on Tuesday with the disappointing news that Saturday’s WBA world title eliminator between British, Commonwealth and European champion, Dan Azeez, and Joshua Buatsi has been postponed.
Azeez was forced out of the eagerly anticipated South London derby after suffering a back injury during his final training session.
WBA Super champion, Dmitrii Bivol, hasn’t boxed since outpointing Gilberto Ramirez last November whilst WBC, WBO and IBF title holder, Artur Beterbiev, is recovering from the bone infection that forced the postponement of his title defense against Callum Smith. That fight has been rescheduled for January 13th.
It is far too early to put a timetable on Azeez’s return to action but BoxingScene has been informed that if Buatsi wants to fight whilst his friend and rival is recuperating, then the Lou DiBella promoted ‘Mighty’ Joe Ward (9-1, 5 KO’s), would be more than happy to face the 2016 Olympic bronze medalist.
Buatsi and Ward know each other from their amateur days. Although they didn’t meet in an official bout the pair shared plenty of rounds together in the gym. Ward was an outstanding amateur himself, representing Ireland at the 2016 Olympic Games. He boxed his way to three European titles and claimed silver and bronze medals at the World Championships.
The southpaw is also preparing for a fight of his own. He is slated to take on Ghanian puncher, Prince Oko Nartey, on November 18th in Letterkenny, Ireland. Buatsi has suffered with inactivity in recent years and if he wants to create some momentum rather than wait for Azeez to recover, he wouldn’t need to look far for a willing dance partner.
BoxingScene.com reached out to Boxxer who, understandably given the day’s news, chose not to comment at this time.