The biggest test of Joshua Buatsi's career sees him get past Ricards Bolotniks.
Joshua Buatsi continued his march towards a world title with a stunning 11th round win over Ricards Bolotniks. Last year’s Golden Contract winner represented the biggest test of Buatsi’s career, but the Croydon man passed the test impressively as he maintained his unbeaten record.
After taking control in the fight’s early rounds, Buatsi looked set for an early night in the sixth session when he dropped Bolotniks with a heavy left hook. Wasting his energy trying to close the show, Buatsi let his opponent back into the fight as he endured the toughest rounds of his career.
The Latvian hard man was relentless for portions of the fight’s second half and those responsible for Buatsi’s progress will be satisfied with how their man coped with the brief onslaught. Bolotniks refused to wilt and his aggressive style gave Buatsi plenty to think about.
With the fight appearing to be headed to the scorecards, Buatsi found the perfect shot to end the fight. A well-timed right hand dropped Bolotniks in the corner and it was enough to force Howard Foster to stop the fight. Buatsi can now look towards bigger challenges as closes in on the world’s leading light-heavyweights.
For a recap on all the action from tonight's show, please read below.
After a gruelling fight, Joshua Buatsi lands a clinical right hand that ends the contest immediately. Bolotniks was stubborn throughout but there was nothing he could do once Buatsi found that shot. What's next for Buatsi?
Bolotniks is a hard man. He's coming off second best here but he's fighting back with everything he has. It's not good enough to win the round but he's winning the respect of people watching. Can he make it to the final bell? 10-9 Buatsi.
Virgil Hunter will be delighted with what he's seen from Joshua Buatsi so far. A great third round for the Brit sees him score frequently with the jab as Bolotnik's defence begins to drop. Buatsi is looking better as each round progresses.
A good round from Buatsi who is using his jab well. Bolotniks is looking to counter almost everything with a right hand so Buatsi has to be careful, but the Croydon man can be satisfied so far. 10-9 Buatsi.
Joe Cordina wasted no time in destroying Joshuah Hernandez. Landing heavy shots from the opening bell, Cordina was intent on causing damage and that's exactly what happened as he dropped the Chicago man with a stunning right hand. Hernandez had no chance of recovering and the fight was sensibly stopped.
Michael McKinson avoided a potential banana skin in Przemyslaw Runowski as he outpointed the brave Pole after ten rounds of skilful boxing from the Portsmouth man. McKinson dominated on the cards to maintain his unbeaten record but what's next for him? Conor Benn was sat ringside. Could a domestic welterweight clash between the pair take place next year?
Hopey Price continued his ring education with a solid six round points win over Claudio Grande. Price was in control throughout and his dominance showed in the final round when he floored the Italian with the last punch of the fight. Grande made it to his feet but was defeated 58-55 on the referee's card.
Kash Farooq showed off his wide repertoire of skills to get the better of Luis Gerardo Castillo. The Mexican fighter never stopped coming forward but he had no answer for Farooq's frequent bursts. Scores from the ringside judges were 100-90 x 2, and 100-91. Is a rematch with old rival, Lee McGregor, next for Farooq?
Raymond Ford made an impressive UK debut as he stopped the usually durable Reece Bellotti. There's big things expected from Ford and he demonstrated why as he ended the fight with a quality attack in the fight's third session.
Zelfa Barrett struggled massively when squeezing past Kiko Martinez earlier this year. It was a much improved performance tonight as he halted Romania's Viorel Simion after four rounds. What will be the next move for Barrett?