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Joshua Buatsi takes on Dan Azeez in England on Aug. 19 with an eye on Dmitry Bivol

Josh Buatsi - Photo By Mark Robinson Matchroom Boxing
Fighters Network

A clash between two of boxing’s top light heavyweight contenders will take place on August 19.

Joshua Buatsi and Dan Azeez will collide in a compelling clash, Boxxer, which promotes both fighters, announced Wednesday afternoon. No specific location was announced other than the fight taking place somewhere in England.

The winner of the fight will become the mandatory challenger to face WBA world light heavyweight titleholder Dmitry Bivol.

Stakes will be high as both London-based fighters are highly ranked. Buatsi and Azeez are ranked No. 7 and 8, respectively, by The Ring. The WBA has Buatsi ranked No. 1, and Azeez at No.2 in its rankings.

Buatsi (17-0, 13 knockouts), who is originally from Accra, Ghana, just fought on May 6, defeating previously-unbeaten Pawel Stepien by unanimous decision. The win over Stepien took place over nine months after Buatsi stopped former fringe contender Ricards Bolotniks in the 11th round.

The 30-year-old also has victories, all by knockout, against the likes of former contender Marco Antonio Periban and unbeaten fighters in Marko Calic and Daniel Blenda Dos Santos.

The fight against Azeez will be Buatsi’s first under contract with Boxxer. He was once promoted by Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing.

Azeez (19-0, 13 KOs) stopped Thomas Faure in the 12th round of his last bout on March 11. Less than three months after the victory over Faure, Azeez notched the biggest win of his career, on paper, stopping Rocky Fielding in the eighth round. Fielding had won his previous three fights since his loss to Ring magazine super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez.

The 33-year-old has displayed power and aggression in recent fights, having stopped five of his last six opponents. Azeez has also knocked out Hosea Burton, in November 2021, and once-beaten Reece Cartwright less than nine months later.


Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached at [email protected]