Matchroom Boxing chief Eddie Hearn would love to match Joshua Buatsi with Anthony Yarde and has questioned why the latter is being inactive while he waits for a world title shot.
Croydon’s Buatsi outpointed Craig Richards in an all-South London light-heavyweight showdown at Greenwich’s 02 Arena last night.
All four major governing bodies have Buatsi high in their ratings.
Yarde impressively banged out Lyndon Arthur in his last ring outing and is mandatory challenger for the WBO title. But champion Joe Smith Jnr is set for a unification next month against Artur Beterbiev, who holds the WBC and IBF belts.
Asked what was next for Buatsi, Hearn said: “Whatever Virgil, Josh and 258 [Management], whatever we discuss. It is so difficult to get a title shot at 175 [lbs] at the moment. I’m so pleased he took the fight with Craig Richards. Not having a pop at Anthony Yarde but he was offered a lot of money for the fight tonight and he’s going to be waiting for a year or so to get the title. Then all of a sudden there could be an undisputed fight [that leaves him waiting longer].
“Rather than wait for the perfect moment, you take the moment and make it perfect. Sometimes you have got to take it. If it’s there, the Bivol fight is a great fight but also we’ll see if Canelo rematches him.
“I offered him [Yarde] so much money I thought there was no way he’d turn this fight down. And they still turned it down. I don’t know what he’s doing – he’s waiting for a fight that isn’t even there yet. But that fight [Buatsi v Yarde] fills up this place. It’s a megafight for British boxing. But he [Buatsi] has also had a big British fight here tonight. Callum Smith, waiting for a title shot as well, there are all these great domestic fights.
“Joshua has come through his domestic fight. Let’s see the others come through these domestic fights.
“I’d like to move him towards a world championship. It’s been six years since he turned professional, pretty much, after Rio. He probably could’ve had a few fights more. He got injured when he was supposed to fight Vlasov and liked a holiday, back in the early days. But he is a perfectionist and never wanted to take a fight three or four weeks later and just not be ready. That’s why he has moved his life out to California with Virgil.”
Crystal Palace’s Richards was left unhappy with one judge scoring this weekend’s fight 116-112. Buatsi won by scores of 115-113 on the other two judges scorecards.
Hearn said: “I scored it 115-113. That was about the right score.
“Craig had a big eighth round and I felt the ninth and the 10th were his opportunity to push on from there – but he didn’t. Joshua won the ninth. Craig finished the fight well, 11 and 12, but Joshua banked enough of the early rounds. I couldn’t see Craig as the winner of the fight.”
PICTURES: MARK ROBINSON/MATCHROOM BOXING