Croydon’s Joshua Buatsi wants to fight again in US after successful Stateside debut

BY RICHARD CAWLEY
richard@slpmedia.co.uk

Joshua Buatsi beat Marco Antonio Periban in New York on Saturday night – with the Croydon fighter keen to box again in the USA.

The 26-year-old light-heavyweight retained his WBA international belt with a fourth-round stoppage of his Mexican opponent, who was moving up from super-middle, at Madison Square Garden.

The only other inside-the-distance defeat for Periban, 34, came at the hands of James DeGale in 2014.

It is the third time that Buatsi has defended his WBA title and it moved his record to 11-0, with nine of those stoppages.

Asked if he would like to box in the States again, the South Londoner said: “Of course I do. I want to come back to fight, but also to have some down-time.

“To come here and fight is amazing. The reception I got was great and I’m grateful for that.

“It did feel different [boxing abroad]. But once I got in the ring, then it’s a ring – the target is locked in.

Joshua Buatsi (left) in action against Marco Anotinio Periban of the WBA International Light-Heavyweight title fight at Madison Square Garden, New York.

“I got the stoppage, it is always good to get that in. It looks good.

“Credit to the guy – he was slippery for a few rounds.

“To start with I was not landing like I wanted to land. So my team told me a certain punch to throw, to make this adjustment – and it will happen. I made the slight adjustment and got the result.

“I landed a shot and thought it was time to get him out of there.”

Buatsi is unworried if critics pick apart the fact that Periban was moving up from his natural fighting weight.

“People talk c*** – it’s no biggy,” he said. “That’s for them to do. It happens with everyone that boxers fight.”

Buatsi’s chances of boxing on future US shows could be hit in the short term by Anthony Joshua’s shock loss to Andy Ruiz Jr in the main event.

Buatsi, a bronze medallist at the 2016 Olympics, is managed by Joshua. But the poster boy of the heavyweight division suffered one of the biggest upsets in decades as he was halted in seven rounds by his Mexican challenger.

The plan had been for Joshua to crack the lucrative American market – with a unification fight against Deontay Wilder in his sights – and Buatsi was expected to be a fixture of the undercards. But now Joshua looks set for a rematch with Ruiz Jr late this year in the UK.

Clapham’s Kirk Garvey lost his English light-heavyweight title on Friday night.

Scunthorpe’s Dec Spelman picked up a unanimous points win by margins of 97-93, 97-94 and 98-92 in his home town.

Garvey’s record drops to 12-3.

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