Joshua Buatsi next in line for possible IBF final eliminator
The unbeaten Buatsi sits at No 3 in the IBF rankings
By Richard Damerell
Last Updated: 28/01/20 6:29pm
Joshua Buatsi is next in line for an IBF final eliminator - and potential opponent Umar Salamov could be open to a fight against the British light-heavyweight.
The Olympic bronze medallist has risen the light-heavyweight rankings since turning professional and now sits at No 3 in the IBF, with No 1 contender Fanlong Meng set to challenge current IBF champion Artur Beterbiev.
Buatsi is then likely to be ordered to fight an IBF eliminator to become the next mandatory challenger and Salamov, who sits at No 4 in the rankings, might be willing to accept a battle with the unbeaten Londoner.
The 25-year-old Russian, who has 25 wins, including 19 knockouts, with just one defeat, was recently ordered to fight a WBO eliminator against compatriot Maksim Vlasov, but trainer and manager Kevin Barry would consider a future fight with Buatsi
"They are both very exciting fighters," Barry told Sky Sports. "Buatsi is a good puncher, Umar Salamov is a very good puncher. I give Umar the edge with experience and skill.
"We are in a very good position, very highly ranked. We're looking at all options. I wouldn't be doing my job with Umar, if I wasn't looking at all options."
Buatsi also sits at No 2 in the WBA rankings and could work towards a fight against WBA 'super' champion Dmitry Bivol, or WBA 'regular' title holder Jean Pascal.