Joshua Buatsi guarantees statement performance in step-up fight against Ricards Bolotniks
Joshua Buatsi will look to land a stoppage when he returns to fighting in front of fans against Golden Contract winner Ricards Bolotniks on Saturday night.
The Ghanaian fighter is 14-0 and holds the international light heavyweight title, but has yet to be tested at a high level during his young pro career.
But Bolotniks will provide the step-up that is necessary for him to move to the next step, with the Latvian having won his last seven on the bounce.
“People have been asking for me to step up and here we are,” Buatsi said ahead of the fight. “I know what I have got to do, if it gets tough, I still know what I need to do.
"I’ve covered all bases in camp, so I am ready, so tune in and you’ll see.
“It’s part of the game and I understand it and it’s a compliment that people want to see me in with better competition.
"It’s natural for people to want to see and that’s what is next in line, so it’s down to me to handle it.
“I saw him box in the Golden Contract final, but it was just one round and a bit of him against Hosea Burton, and that’s it.
"I’ve always said that it’s about improving myself as a fighter and covering all angles and aspects of myself and once I do that, I feel that I can do that with anyone put in front of me."
Buatsi's last outing against Daniel Blenda Dos Santos in Manchester was the last boxing event that Matchroom put on behind closed doors, and many fans were concerned with his performance.
But he is confident of taking advantage of "any vulnerability" that his opponent shows in their twleve-round fight and landing a vital finish.
“I’m looking forward to a lot," the Brit continued. "It’s been a while since I’ve boxed in front of fans so that’s going to be great.
"It’s the main event against a good opponent, we’re both ranked highly, we’ve both got winning streaks and believe we’ll win.
"I’ll be there for every round and if I sense any vulnerability from Bolotniks it's game over, I'll take him out. "
Buatsi is known for his nice guy image outside of the ring, but he promises to be brutal inside the ring when he takes on the Latvian this weekend in the final of three exciting events at Matchroom HQ.
“It’s boxing, outside the ring you be cool, be calm, be nice, but inside the ring, you handle business," he explained.
"When I fight, I must put it all on the line because people say, ‘Joshua Buatsi is a nice guy’, but if I boxed in a nice way, people wouldn’t care.
"If you are a big character that’s loud and trash talks, the performance doesn’t matter as much in a way, but I am not like that, so I am aware my performances must do that talking."
It's his second fight of the year, and third since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, but Buatsi is planning to get out once more before the year is out, with major events now returning across the UK.
“We were aiming for three fights this year, May, August, and the winter," he continued.
"So, the stakes are high, but I will go in with whomever the team puts in front of me, that’s for them, as long as I prepare I’m good, because when you step in the ring there’s no turning back.
"This is a very dangerous sport, so you have to make sure you are on it."