Virgil Hunter believes that Joshua Buatsi has the killer instinct to take him places and says he also has a dedication that Amir Khan often lacked.
Buatsi brutally knocked out Daniel Dos Santos in the fourth round in Manchester on Saturday, knocking him cold with a right hook and then landing another shot as the Frenchman collapsed to the floor.
It was the unbeaten light-heavyweight’s first fights since teaming up with the California trainer. Buatsi is planning one week at home in London before returning to the Bay Area to prepare for his next fight in July.
“He definitely has a killer instinct and that is great to see,” Hunter said. “He is serious when he gets in there. He is going to be tough to beat. I’d love to see him be a belt-holder for a bit. He has the ability. If he gets the right opponent, I’m confident he will beat him.
“I think he has a lot to offer in this division, he brings a lot to the table. No 1 he has hunger, devotion and desire to go a long way. He is a good student, he followed directions on the last punch, that was beautiful to see. We can wish to see great things from him.
“I told him to feint with his eyes. To look down and go up or look up and go down. He chose the first one. He made the jab motion to the body and then went up.”
Hunter is best known in the UK for the time he spent training Khan, the former unified super-lightweight world champion. He always predicted big things for Khan, but says his devotion to the sport did not match his talent.
“Joshua has a dedication, a focus and a devotion to the sport that Amir didn’t have,” Hunter said. “Amir was everywhere. He had great ability, I tried to get the most out of his ability and enhance it, but there was always something that interfered with that.”
Ron Lewis is a senior writer for BoxingScene. He was Boxing Correspondent for The Times, where he worked from 2001-2019 - covering four Olympic Games and numerous world title fights across the globe. He has written about boxing for a wide variety of publications worldwide since the 1980s.