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Dan Azeez: Joshua Buatsi shows how 'ruthless' he can be in our wild Creed vs Rocky style spars

Dan Azeez believes he’s on a collision course with ‘ruthless’ Joshua Buatsi as both close in on a world title shot; European champ Azeez explains how their intense, all out sparring sessions have helped both; Buatsi fights Pawel Stepien live on Sky Sports this Saturday

Dan Azeez fighting Charlie Duffield
Image: Dan Azeez has an eye on fighting Joshua Buatsi

Dan Azeez believes he is on a collision course with Joshua Buatsi, even though after their wild sparring sessions he knows better than anyone how “ruthless” the WBA No 1 contender can be.

Azeez, just like Buatsi, is a light-heavyweight from south London with a high world ranking. He is No 2 with the WBA and is working his way into contention at the highest level.

"We're both 175lbs, it's a collision that can happen," Azeez told Sky Sports. "I think at the stage where he is now, he just wants a world title now. To get momentum and a world title. Who knows? We might fight for a world title."

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Dan Azeez says he'd be devastated if he didn't fight Joshua Buatsi at some point in his career, whilst Johnny Nelson believes Buatsi would be favourite on paper

That is a distinct possibility and Azeez understands exactly how dangerous Buatsi is. They have sparred many times, and neither holds anything back when they're in the ring.

"The reason is that helps us both develop. If I came in and I was just doing nonsense, he wouldn't call me back for sparring. Because it's not helping, it's not benefiting him in any type of way," Azeez said.

"It's the same with me. I need Josh to be as ruthless as he is, and you can imagine what that's like. It's helped me developed over the years and get better and better."

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Joshua Buatsi believes a fight with domestic light-heavyweight rival Dan Azeez could well materialise in the future

Buatsi is just as ferocious in sparring as he is in a contest.

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"Ruthless, definitely," Azeez said of the Croydon man. "If you've seen the [Rocky] scene where Creed goes crazy at Rocky, like 'What's up with you man!' Josh has been like that, [shouting at him:] 'Come on!'

"If I'm not there or I'm not focused, or I'm getting hit with the same shot or something: 'Come on, man!'

"I'm telling you. Go and watch that scene where Creed goes crazy on Rocky. Josh is like that."

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Following the news that Joshua Buatsi has signed to fight under Boxxer and Sky Sports, Dan Azeez says he'd have no issue fighting his friend in the professional ranks

Azeez will be a keen observer of how Buatsi fares against Polish contender Pawel Stepien, live on Sky Sports Action or Sky Showcase this Saturday from 7pm.

Having boxed regularly on Sky over the past 12 months Azeez welcomes Buatsi's arrival, perhaps because they are potential rivals.

"I'm so happy he's on the platform," he said. "You're going to see more of him. He's going to be more accessible to the public. Someone of that talent should be as well."

Azeez won the European title by stopping Thomas Faure with a ruthless performance of his own in March.

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Highlights of Dan Azeez against Thomas Faure for the European light-heavyweight title in Paris.

He wants to continue his advance so he can't be denied clashes with opponents of Buatsi's calibre.

"I'm still trying to build as well. Solidify myself and get myself into that world mix as well. People say they think I'm just below or whatever. I just want to make sure you know Dan Azeez is a certified world level fighter," he said.

"That [bout with Faure] was probably one of the best shows I fought on. They did the national anthem and everything. I was like wow. It's not a world title fight but the belt's well respected and obviously we're in France. The occasion's building me for something really big. That's how I feel. The stars are aligning. [It was a] wicked experience.

"It feels brilliant, it feels good. It's another stage in my career ticked. I feel what makes it more meaningful is the fact that I went over to France and beat a Frenchman.

"But the main thing is we got that EBU title back to south east London."

On Saturday Buatsi, the other south London light-heavy, has to do his part to keep that world title dream alive.

Watch Buatsi versus Pawel Stepien from 7pm live on Sky Sports Action or Sky Showcase.

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