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Willy Hutchinson 'very much welcomes' Joshua Buatsi showdown for WBO interim light-heavyweight title

After beating Craig Richards, Willy Hutchinson has emerged as a potential contender to take on light-heavyweight star Joshua Buatsi for a WBO interim title; London rival Anthony Yarde could still be a future fight for Buatsi, says promoter Ben Shalom

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Joshua Buatsi knocked down Dan Azeez twice and won a points victory after a thrilling 12 rounds at Wembley

Willy Hutchinson is taking aiming at Joshua Buatsi and the WBO's interim light-heavyweight title next.

As Buatsi's talks with London rival Anthony Yarde stalled, Hutchinson marked himself out with an impressive victory over Craig Richards at the start of the month.

With all four of the major world titles tied up in Artur Beterbiev's undisputed fight with Dmitry Bivol in October, the WBO has now mandated Hutchinson as the opponent for an interim title fight with Buatsi.

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Buatsi said everything was in place for that huge showdown with Anthony Yarde and demanded an answer

The Scot's manager Shelly Finkel told Sky Sports: "We would very much welcome a fight against Buatsi."

Ben Shalom, the Londoner's promoter, expects to finalise Buatsi's next fight in the coming days.

"He's in a great position right now," Shalom told Sky Sports. "He's worked hard to get to this position and he's got two potentially great fights ahead.

"Personally I think the Yarde fight is the one that fans want to see most and it's one that we've been trying to make for a long time. But obviously there's been difficulties making that fight and it's taken a bit of time."

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But he added: "You've got the Hutchinson fight as well, given the order for the WBO interim. So great options.

"He'll make his choice. He wants the big fights, he wants the big nights, he wants the headline slots, he wants the show for himself so we'll see what happens over the next week or so."

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Buatsi was full of praise for Azeez's brave display in his last fight

Buatsi is pushing ultimately for a mandatory shot at one of the belts Beterbiev and Bivol will fight for later this year.

"He's No 1 in most of the governing bodies," Shalom said. "I think the IBF [mandatory] is next in line then it's the WBA. He's No 1, he's going to get his opportunity.

"I think it's a waiting game now on Bivol-Beterbiev whatever happens.

"His fight against Dan Azeez was a final eliminator [for the WBA title]. In the WBC he's the No 1 as well," the BOXXER promoter continued.

"He's got to make the best decisions for the biggest fights for the most amount of money and luckily there's a couple of options."

Watch Chris Billam-Smith defend his WBO cruiserweight world title against Richard Riakporhe at Crystal Palace's Selhurst Park, live on Sky Sports on Saturday June 15; or Stream with NOW

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