Buatsi is the best light heavy-weight I’ve seen since Britain’s greatest Conteh

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FROM my experience, going overboard when making predictions about talented young fighters can easily lead to humiliation.

But every now and then you see someone so obviously gifted it’s impossible not to forecast fame and fortune.

Joshua Buatsi continued his impress start to his professional career
Joshua Buatsi continued his impress start to his professional career
Getty Images – Getty
Joshua Buatsi dismissed Liam Conroy to win the British title
Joshua Buatsi dismissed Liam Conroy to win the British title
Getty Images – Getty

The first time I was convinced I’d seen the shoots of greatness in a British boxer was 49 years ago at the Commonwealth Games.

John Conteh won middleweight gold as a 19-year-old and had future world champion written all over him.

It was no surprise to me when, four years later, he outpointed tough Argentine Jorge Ahumada over 15 scintillating rounds at Wembley to become world light-heavyweight champion.

Last Saturday, I saw Joshua Buatsi win the British light-heavy title by clinically outclassing Liam Conroy, dropping him twice and stopping him in less than eight minutes.

He is certainly the best youngster I’ve seen at the weight since Conteh — Britain’s greatest light-heavyweight.

It wasn’t that Buatsi beat Conroy so effortlessly that was so impressive. It was the way he set about it that was so memorable.

I was captivated as Buatsi ruthlessly and savagely demolished his opposition.

Sleek and powerful with fast hands, he did not waste a punch as he blasted Conroy with accurate jabs and hurtful hooks — just like Conteh used to.

Buatsi has won all his ten fights — eight by knockout — and despite his inexperience the WBA already have him ranked No 6, which is nonsensical.

He is managed by Anthony Joshua and I’m sure AJ knows he has much more to learn before thinking of world titles.


We know the strength of his punches but we have yet to find out the strength of his chin.

Though I have faith in Buatsi’s ability to reach the summit, he could still fail to prove he is Britain’s best 12st 7lb man.

It must not be overlooked that the formidable Anthony Yarde has an 18-0 record with all but one win inside the distance.

The thought of a Buatsi-Yarde world title unification clash late next year would get the adrenaline flowing.

Well, we can dream can’t we?

John Conteh is remembered as Britain's best ever light-heavyweight
John Conteh is remembered as Britain’s best ever light-heavyweight
Getty Images – Getty

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