Joshua Buatsi’s projected place in the sport of boxing hits a critical crossroad on May 15 for an obvious reason – he comes up against an equally hungry and undefeated opponent, in what could be his final eliminator for a major world title shot.
Buatsi, 28, has had a relatively long stint with the WBA International light heavyweight title which he puts up in this big clash with Frenchman Daniel Blenda Dos Santos. Buatsi will be defending this title a sixth time and his performance in this bout must be a reminder to the world about his presence, especially as he projects to be at the very top.
Anyone who gauges the hunger levels of the two boxers is likely to have similar measures. While the Ghanaian seems to be ahead of Dos Santos when it comes to the quality of opponents, the French man could bring a tough challenge.
Buatsi and former world champion Isaac Dogboe were amongst some young boxers who were lined up to be drafted into Ghana’s national team the Black Bombers between 2010 and 2011. This was part of a special programme for Ghanaian boxers domiciled or born abroad instituted by then President of Ghana’s amateur federation, Ambassador Ray Quarcoo.
Dogboe made it into the team but Buatsi didn’t. Dogboe went ahead to participate in the 2012 Olympics and eventually annexed the WBO super bantamweight title. Buatsi then returned to the UK and got selected into the UK team that featured in the Rio Olympic Games in 2016. He won a bronze medal after recording three wins out of four bouts.