Joshua Buatsi must prove desire by relocating to be with trainer Virgil Hunter, says Johnny Nelson

Johnny Nelson: "Virgil Hunter wants his home to be his fighters' home so they live in the gym even without a fight coming up. Down the line, that may be a problem. It's something they must address, work out, figure out"

15 May 2021
Picture By Mark Robinson Matchroom Boxing.
Daniel Blenda Dos Santos knocked out. 1:24
A massive right hand by Joshua Buatsi ended the fight in round four against Daniel Dos Santos

Joshua Buatsi must relocate permanently to the US to be with his new trainer Virgil Hunter, says Johnny Nelson.

Buatsi brilliantly knocked out Daniel Dos Santos on Saturday in Manchester in his first fight with Hunter in his corner.

Hunter previously led Andre Ward through a glorious career that culminated as the unbeaten No 1 boxer in the world and welcomed Buatsi to his California base two months ago.

15 May 2021
Picture By Dave Thompson Matchroom Boxing.
Joshua Buatsi celebrates after the fight. 3:34
Joshua Buatsi on his future plans and ambitions

"I haven't been home for weeks and weeks and weeks," Buatsi said beating Dos Santos.

"I look forward to having a week or so [at home].

"I'll be in England.

"Whether we go back out to America to start camp again, or we start [in England] and finish it out there."

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*** FREE FOR EDITORIAL USE ***.Joshua Buatsi and Daniel Blenda Dos Santos, WBA International Light-Heavyweight Title, AO Arena, Machester..15 May 2021.Picture By Mark Robinson Matchroom Boxing..
Image: Buatsi ended the fight in four rounds

But Sky Sports expert Nelson picked up on Buatsi's hesitation to commit to a full-time switch to the US.

"I know Hunter won't like that," says Nelson.

"It's hard for fighters to pack up and say: 'This is my new home'.

"Hunter wants his home to be his fighters' home so they live in the gym even without a fight coming up.

"Down the line, that may be a problem.

"It's something they must address, work out, figure out.

Buatsi
Image: Buatsi floored Dos Santos in the second round

"It depends how much Buatsi wants it, wants success, respects Hunter and his word.

"'If I really want this, for five years I'm sticking with you!'"

Buatsi retained his WBA international belt to edge closer to a shot at the light-heavyweight division's elite, including champions Artur Beterbiev, Dmitry Bivol and Joe Smith Jr.

He had told Sky Sports last week about his first training camp in the US: "I'm a 10-hour flight away so, if I want a time-out, I can't go home. I have to stay. It's tough but these are the sacrifices you have to make.

"At this point, I'm willing to do anything to learn what I need to learn."

*** FREE FOR EDITORIAL USE ***.Joshua Buatsi and Daniel Blenda Dos Santos, WBA International Light-Heavyweight Title, AO Arena, Machester..15 May 2021.Picture By Mark Robinson Matchroom Boxing..Joshua Buatsi consoles his opponent after knocking him out.
Image: Buatsi consoled Dos Santos afterwards

Hunter said last week: "I explained to him: 'If you want to get better, you have to make the sacrifice to live here'.

"If the opponent lives in the same city as their coach, they have an advantage.

"He can make a decision. It depends how much he wants it.

"I guaranteed him, if he lives in the Bay Area, he will improve two-fold."

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