British Light heavyweights Joshua Buatsi and Craig Richards fought in a highly competitive bout from England, but Buatsi won on all the cards.
Joshua Buatsi and Craig Richards put on a show for their countrymen at London, England’s O2 Arena, on May 21, but Buatsi remained undefeated in an entertaining light heavyweight bout.
Buatsi (15-0, 13 KOs) was the favorite on paper and proved prognosticators correct. He was able to control the action for the majority of the bout.
Buatsi tallied an early lead on the cards, but Richards came alive in round 8. Richards worked well behind his jab in the later rounds and picked up his punch output.
Buatsi still won rounds down the stretch, and Richards gave too many away early. The judges returned two cards of 115-113 and one of 116-112.
FanSided had the fight wider at 118-110, but rounds 3 and 9 were swing rounds. Regardless, the right boxer won.
Joshua Buatsi won on all three judges’ scorecards to defeat Craig Richards by unanimous decision.
Buatsi won Bronze at the 2016 Olympics but hasn’t climbed the ranks as quickly as some expected five years into his professional career. However, he deserves credit for beating a formidable opponent in Richards.
Richards (17-3-1, 10 KOs) came into his fight with some blemishes on his record. His last defeat came against WBA champion Dmitry Bivol in 2021 by unanimous decision.
Richards held his own against Buatsi as he did against Bivol but couldn’t produce enough fireworks early, which cost him the bout.
ESPN has Buatsi ranked as the number seven light heavyweight in the world. The four title belts are held by Artur Beterbiev, Joe Smith Jr. and Bivol.
Beterbiev and Smith meet in a unification matchup on June 18 and could lead to an undisputed champion in the near future. Buatsi likely won’t get a title shot soon, but he should move up the ranks after his win over Richards.