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Joshua Buatsi calls for Anthony Yarde fight: 'While the titles are tied up, let's do it!'

Joshua Buatsi is adamant that knocking out Anthony Yarde is "doable"; He said: "I know I can win and there would be 12 rounds to try and do it"; The KO finish he wanted against Pawel Stepien eluded him but the lessons from that performance make Buatsi more confident that he'd beat Yarde

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Joshua Buatsi gets the unanimous decision over a tough Pawel Stepien in Birmingham

Joshua Buatsi wants to box London rival Anthony Yarde as soon as possible.

Yarde is a two-time world title challenger, who lost to unified titlist Artur Beterbiev most recently. That though was still a creditable showing against the fearsome light-heavyweight world champion.

Croydon's Buatsi fought 175lb contender Pawel Stepien last weekend, beating the determined Pole on a unanimous decision in Birmingham.

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Joshua Buatsi labelled his performance against Pawel Stepien 'average' after winning via unanimous decision in Birmingham

Like Buatsi, Stepien is highly ranked with world title sanctioning bodies and victory over him positions the Croydon man for a championship challenge.

However, he would have to wait for the chance to fight for one of the four major world titles.

Beterbiev holds the IBF, WBO and WBC titles but he is due to fight Liverpool's Callum Smith, while WBA champion Dmitry Bivol is looking at options which include a potential rematch with Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez.

So Buatsi believes now is the time to fight rival London light-heavyweight Yarde.

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In a message for Yarde, he declared: "While the titles are tied up, let's do something.

"If Yarde is the man for me to box next, I'm more than happy to make that happen," Buatsi told Sky Sports.

After going the distance with Stepien, Buatsi could be viewed as the underdog going into a fight with Yarde.

"Maybe," Buatsi said. "Someone might sit there and say, 'Yarde's explosive. He's going to come, he's going to bang him out.'

"Let's see if that would happen."

Buatsi knows that a fight with Yarde is almost guaranteed to deliver fireworks. He'll be looking to win it by knockout himself.

"I wouldn't say it would be easy but I think it's something that's doable," he said. "I just know I can win and there would be 12 rounds to try and do it."

Joshua Buatsi
Image: Joshua Buatsi is adamant that he can beat Anthony Yarde (Photos: Lawrence Lustig/BOXXER)

Buatsi did want to beat Stepien inside the distance. But, after being out of action for a year, there are nevertheless aspects of that performance which make him even more confident that he would defeat Yarde.

"I'm very confident. I don't doubt it. I'm learning more and more. I'm learning and doing things that's making me even more confident. Even in that fight that I had on Saturday, there were things I did where [I think] this is good," he said.

"Of course, I look at the other aspect of it, of wanting to entertain and perform and the excitement and that's why I wanted the stoppage [against Stepien].

"I didn't get the stoppage, but in the long run doing the 10 rounds was beneficial."

He pointed out: "When someone's surviving it's very hard to chin them. When they're coming to fight, that's when there's gaps."

Stepien was also a solid world-level contender with handy boxing skills and good defence.

Image: Stepien uses a handy skillset to defend himself from Buatsi

"I showed a different aspect of boxing again. For me as a boxer developing, it's good," he explained.

Stepien had changed his style to fight Buatsi.

"What I saw on film was an elusive, low lead handed and a free guy and what I got on Saturday was he stood there with a tight guard, left no gaps and that was different to the guy that I was watching in his old clips.

"It's in me to want to entertain," he continued. "I didn't get the knockout - but maybe next time.

"Yarde came off a loss. Would he fight me next? But usually, when people come off a world championship loss they fight a lower-level opponent to get the ball rolling again. Then they might jump back in. But there's been some that have jumped straight back into a big fight.

"He might say I want big fights back to back to back and say let's fight Buatsi.

"It can happen."

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