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Joshua Buatsi wins decision over Craig Richards to inch closer to title shot

Buatsi-Richards_21052022 Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing
Joshua Buatsi and Craig Richards had a lot on the line Saturday when they squared off in a pivotal light-heavyweight clash from the O2 Arena in London. 

What we got was an action-packed fight between the two British light-heavyweights, but it was the skill of Buatsi that proved to be too much as he won by unanimous decision (116-112, 115-113, 115-113). DAZN had it scored 116-112 for Buatsi.

The bout was a WBA title eliminator. With Richards out of the way, Buatsi (16-0, 13 KOs) made it clear that he's ready for a title shot against WBA (super) champion Dmitry Bivol. 

"I want the world title shot next, Buatsi bluntly said in his post-fight interview. 

It is unknown as to what Bivol is going to do next after upsetting Canelo Alvarez at the beginning of May. Alvarez has a rematch clause, but he hasn't declared what he'll do next. 

Here's what happened between Joshua Buatsi and Craig Richards.

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Joshua Buatsi remains undefeated

Buatsi def. Richards via unanimous decision (116-112, 115-113, 115-113).

Bustasi-Richards; Round 12

Double jab and a right for Richards. He needs to unload whatever ammunition he has left in the holster. Right hook gets through for Richards. Right from Buatsi and Richards counters with a left. Straight right from Richards. Right from Richards. Buatsi fires a right. A body shot from Buatsi. Richards is swinging away, and now so is Buatsi to the final horn. (10-9 Richards, 116-112 Buatsi)

Buatsi-Richards; Round 11

Left hook for Richards, who needs a lot more of those. A right by Buatsi. Right to the body from Buatsi. An uppercut from Richards and a right from Buatsi hurts Richards. Straight right from Richards, but Buatsi comes right back with an uppercut. An exchange of rights. An impressive six-punch combination from Buatsi to end the round. Richards needs a stoppage to win on my scorecard. (10-9 Buatsi, 107-102 Buatsi)

Buatsi-Richards; Round 10

Double jab from Richards to start the championship rounds, followed by a combination. Sharp right hand for Buatsi. Double jab from Buatsi. Triple left to the body from Buatsi. Overhand right and left to the body from Buatsi. Buatsi unleashes a series of power shots. A straight right and an uppercut from Richards. A jab from Richards and a right by Buatsi. Close round. (10-9 Buatsi, 97-93 Buatsi)

Buatsi-Richards; Round 9

A battle of jabs in the first minute of the ninth. Two overhand rights from Richards. Buatsi fires off a right of his own. A great jab from Buatsi. A left hook from Richards. (10-9 Richards, 87-84 Buatsi)

Buatsi-Richards; Round 8

Richards firing off a series of jabs which looked to have surprised Buatsi. A right hand from Buatsi. A low blow by Buatsi, and he's warned by the referee. Right hand and a left hook from Richards. A jab and two right hands from Buatsi. A right and a left hook makes Buatsi grab for dear life. Richards unloads a series of shots. Buatsi comes back. Richards fires off a combo of his own. Buatsi unloads two overhand rights that shook Richards, who stumbled to the corner. What a round. (10-9 Richards, 78-74 Buatsi)

Buatsi-Richards; Round 7

Not much action this round. Both guys look to be resting up for the latter half of the fight. Buatsi controlled the round with the jab to win it on my card. (10-9 Buatsi, 69-64 Buatsi)

Buatsi-Richards; Round 6

Two great right hands from Buatsi followed by an uppercut. Great resilience from Richards in absorbing those blows. Richards comes back with a double body shot. A battle of jabs. Double jab from Buatsi. A combination from Richards. Stinging left from Richards. Body shot and a left hook from Richards. Three-punch combination from Buatsi. (10-9 Buatsi, 59-55 Buatsi)

Buatsi-Richards; Round 5

A right gets Richards to the ropes, but Buatsi can't do much with the advantage. An exchange of left hooks. Straight right connects for Buatsi. A barrage from Buatsi hurts Richards. Buatsi is taking the foot off the gas, allowing Richards to land a flush right. I don't like Buatsi's method of slowing down when he had Richards on the ropes. (10-9 Buatsi, 49-46 Buatsi)

Buatsi-Richards; Round 4

A jab to begin the fourth for Buatsi. An exchange of body shots. Right uppercut snaps Buatsi's head back. Left hook stops Richards in his tracks. A series of hard lefts to the body from Buatsi. Richards isn't deterred as he lands a left hook. Hard right from Richards. Overhand right from Buatsi. And they slug it out to the end of the bell. Best action round of the fight so far. (10-9 Buatsi, 39-37 Buatsi)

Buatsi-Richards; Round 3

An exchange of jabs to start the third. A hard right to the body from Buasti, but Richards comes back with a right. Double jab by Richards. Overhand right from Richards. Another hard body shot from Buatsi, whose making that a point of emphasis. A right stuns Richards, but Buatsi has no time to follow up. (10-9 Richards, 29-28 Buatsi)

Buatsi-Richards; Round 2

Buatsi starts the second round like he ended the first as a stiff jab snaps Richards' head back. A right-hand lands for Buatsi. An exchange of jabs. A right to the body followed by a right upstairs from Buatsi. (10-9 Buatsi, 20-18 Buatsi)

Buatsi-Richards; Round 1

They march towards one another, and Buatsi comes firing off a series of jabs. A right hand by Richards, but Buatsi comes back with a left of his own. A combination from Richards. Another combo from Richards. Double jab from Richards. Right when it appeared Richards had the round, Buatsi flips the script with a right hand which hurts Richards. A combination from the 2016 Olympian. A series of right hands and Richards holds on until the bell sounds. Richards smiles at Buatsi, knowing he got him. (10-9 Buatsi)

Main event time

It's time for the main event as Joshua Buatsi (15-0, 13 KOs) battles Craig Richards (17-2-1, 10 KOs). Huge test for Buatsi as two fights ago, Richards gave Dmitry Bivol all he could handle. Richards got into the ring, and Buatsi made a beeline to him on danced around a couple of times. Things are getting testy before the first bell has even sounded.

Chantelle Cameron dominates to retain titles

Cameron def. Bustos via unanimous decision (100-90, 100-90, 100-90) to retain her IBF/WBC super lightweight titles.

A dominant performance by Cameron, who showed why there are levels to the sport. It's time for a megafight for Cameron. She's one of the pound-for-pound top women's fighters in the world. However, she no longer seems interested in an undisputed title fight against Kali Reis and looks more towards Katie Taylor and four-belt welterweight champion Jessica McCaskill. 

Cameron in control

Through five, it's all Cameron. She's boxing perfectly. Setting everything up with a crisp jab which is stopping Bustos in her tracks. Bustos has landed few and far significant shots that would put Cameron in any danger.

One of women's boxing top pound-for-pound fighters

In the co-main event of Buatsi vs. Richards is Chantelle Cameron (15-0, 8 KOs) defending her IBF/WBC super lightweight titles against Victoria Bustos (23-6). It should be nothing more than a busy body for Cameron while she waits for Kali Reis.

Alen Babic wins a war

Babic def. Balski via unanimous decision (97-91, 97-91, 95-93).

If you didn't like this fight, then this wasn't for you. A knockdown drag out from the opening bell to the final bell. Both guys left it all out there and gave it all they had.

Babic's style is an exciting one to watch and has become must-see. A fun fight that awoke the crowd.   

Babic haș roared back

Since the knockdown, Babic has gained control in the second and third rounds. His constant pressure and uppercuts down the middle have slowed Balski down considerably. Both guys were exhausted walking back to their respective corners.   

Down goes Babic 20 seconds in

Babic came roaring in and started slinging away. They were trading shots when a Balski left hook sent Babic to the canvas. I wasn't expecting that one. Could we have an upset in London?  

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