WBA Light Heavyweight Title Fight Rejected By #1 Contender Joshua Buatsi
In the absence of an undisputed clash with WBC, IBF, WBO champion Artur Beterbiev, Dmitry Bivol (21-0, 11 KOs) is expected to defend his WBA Light Heavyweight championship in May/June with June 3 in Abu Dhabi a possibility, NoSmokeSport understands. The US is also an option for Bivol’s next fight in anticipation of a Canelo Alvarez rematch in September.
Eddie Hearn, the promoter of Bivol, wanted to match him with his British contender Joshua Buatsi (16-0, 13 KOs). However, the leading promoter told Eat Sleep Boxing Repeat that Buatsi has now turned down a world title shot with Bivol for ‘well over £1,000,000’, which is understood to be a career-high purse for the Croydon man. This is the second time Buatsi has turned down a world title fight with Bivol.
Hearn also told the outlet that Buatsi was made an offer by a competing promoter to work with him moving forwards. As part of Hearn’s matching rights clause, Buatsi was obligated to notify Matchroom of the offer and Matchroom then have the right to ‘match’ all terms of the proposal which Hearn reveals they have done so, triggering a new contract.
“He got made an offer which we did match and we’ll see what we do moving forwards. We’ve offered well over a million pounds to fight Dmitry Bivol and he turned it down and that’s disappointing. We want him to fight Callum Smith or Bivol and I think he wants to fight Dan Azeez. But Josh is a great fighter and we’ll see what the future holds”
Buatsi’s trainer Virgil Hunter went on ThaBoxingVoice last month to discuss the future of the Light Heavyweight contender. Hunter was dismissive of a clash with Bivol next “Right now, this fight (Bivol) is a couple of fights away. He (is) most definitely a couple (of) fights away from a title shot”
Hunter believes his charge isn’t ready for a world title shot yet and still needs a few more fights. The American trainer also confirmed he does have a say in who Buatsi fights and therefore it seems like Hunter could be the reason for Buatsi turning down a title shot next.