BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Joshua Buatsi had no problems with the first defence of his WBA international light-heavyweight title as he took just two minutes and 53 seconds to knock out Tony Averlant in Newcastle.
Buatsi moved his record to 8-0 and recorded a sixth stoppage victory at the Metro Radio Arena on Saturday night.
And the Croydon puncher’s quick finish was made more impressive by the fact that Frenchman Averlant (26-11-2) had gone seven rounds with world-ranked Anthony Yarde in his previous bout.
“I didn’t expect it [a quick finish,” said Buatsi. “He is a seasoned fighter. I didn’t expect it or go looking for it. I noticed early I had hurt him to the body.
“I’m happy. Everyone is going to compare the market and see what Yarde did. But I went in there and if I did it before seven rounds today or after seven rounds then cool.”
Newcastle’s Hosea Burton (22-1) was ringside to demand a showdown.
“He tried to ambush me,” said Buatsi. “Eddie [Hearn, promoter] says it is the right fight [next]. There are other people who have to have an input and see if it is the move for me.
“Fighters will fight each other as long as the money is right and the timing is right.”