Buatsi's Perspective on Azeez: There's No Personal Animosity, He's Simply an Opponent I Must Face
Joshua Buatsi's Approach to Facing Dan Azeez: A Professional Outlook
Joshua Buatsi's primary focus is to maintain a professional demeanor throughout this situation. He intends to stick to this approach, even if circumstances require him to adopt a different role during the promotional activities.
Fortunately, the only role he was asked to play in the lead-up to his bout with long-time friend and former stablemate Dan Azeez was that of highlighting their friendship. Both unbeaten light heavyweights are set to square off in a twelve-round WBA title eliminator this Saturday, which will be broadcast on Sky Sports and Peacock TV from The O2 in London.
Buatsi emphasized his respect for Azeez, stating, "Dan is a formidable opponent. I won't pretend to have any animosity towards him or make any exaggerated claims about my feelings. The main objective here is to recognize what's at stake. He understands the stakes as well. There's no personal animosity; he's just an opponent I must face, someone I'm on good terms with."
The victor of this weekend's main event will earn the status of mandatory challenger for the WBA light heavyweight title held by Dmitry Bivol (21-0, 11KOs).
Interestingly, Buatsi (17-0, 13KOs) had the opportunity to pursue a title shot on two separate occasions. However, his team, who currently promotes him under BOXXER after his departure from Matchroom Boxing earlier this spring, opted to take the path that led to the showdown with Azeez (20-0, 13KOs). Their decision was driven by a desire for more experience and activity, which they have gained through his current promotional arrangement. Buatsi's journey with BOXXER commenced with a ten-round victory over Pawel Stepien in Birmingham on May 6.
With a victory this Saturday, Buatsi can anticipate stepping into his first title fight. The fact that he must defeat a long-time friend to reach this stage is simply an occupational challenge that he accepts willingly.
Buatsi elaborated, "I have certain destinations and goals in life. Right now, Dan is what's in front of me. It's straightforward—everything is on the line."