Today: 16-04-2024

Buatsi vs. Azeez - a great fight. The winner could face Gvozdyk.

A fantastic match, dangerous for both fighters and simply a great show. Let's talk about it and how Alexander Gvozdyk fits into this picture.

The clash of two of the best British fighters in the category is something not to be missed. The British are known for organizing big showdowns between their own boxers. Moreover, they often don't worry about the fact that both fighters might be undefeated, and someone will definitely lose that perfect record.

There are many examples of such matchups, but the most recent one was the encounter between Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce. At that time, both fighters were undefeated and on their way to a title shot. British organizers set them up against each other. Dubois was winning the fight, but he suffered a defeat due to an orbital bone injury.

This didn't hinder the careers of either fighter, but it's what organizers fear when matching up such boxers. They believe that a loss can ruin everything, and it's better to carefully build up their fighter for a big-money fight.

As a result of the aforementioned fight, Dubois recovered, came back, and even reached the title before Joyce. He held the WBA "regular" belt and faced Alexander Usyk. Joyce, on the other hand, couldn't achieve the same success. And overall, it's unlikely he will because after losses to Chisora, regaining confidence in his career will be extremely difficult.

The meeting between Buatsi and Azeez follows a similar trend. Two undefeated British fighters who have been on the path to a title shot will face each other. Fans love such fights. In general, isn't boxing a sport where determining the best is what it's all about?

Buatsi is thirty years old and arguably the best British fighter in his weight category. To be blunt, he might be the best fighter in his category after two champions from a country associated with terrorism.

It's hard to place anyone above Joshua. He's an undefeated boxer with excellent training. And in a competitive category, many who showed promise have already suffered defeats. Anthony Yard lost to the champion, even though he looked better in that fight than expected. Michael Aifer is yet to prove himself worthy of a high ranking. Joe Smith moved up to a higher weight class, and even if he returns, he won't rank higher than Buatsi. Alexander Gvozdyk still needs to show that he's ready to fight not only middleweights and lower-level boxers. Callum Smith? We'll see what he's capable of in a championship fight, as things didn't go well against Canelo.

Indeed, Smith and Azeez could compete with Buatsi for the right to challenge the champions next. But if the first one has a mark of not performing well in a truly important fight, the second one hasn't had such a fight yet. This will be his first.

Both Azeez and Buatsi are difficult to hit, move well, and can be dangerous for anyone. Who is more dangerous for the next opponent remains to be seen.

Who is the favorite? According to bookmakers' odds, Joshua Buatsi is the favorite at 1.28, while Denzel Azeez is at 3.75.

It's essential to consider the standard metrics that are impossible to argue with. Joshua is taller at 188 centimeters compared to his opponent's 178 centimeters. He also has longer arms, with a reach of 189 centimeters.

Everything else falls into the category of unknowns. The favorite appears to be faster, and his timing seems more accurate and precise than his opponent's. But this is all theoretical.

In practice, Azeez cleverly utilizes his dimensions. The huge Rocky Fielding couldn't figure out what to do with the smaller opponent. Denzel confidently closed the distance and delivered a series of attacks. In the end, Fielding's corner threw in the towel.

Of course, Rocky is not Joshua Buatsi. The athletic Brit punches hard, works well on the inside, and catches opponents on the way out. A devastating blow from the favorite can come from anywhere at any time.

On the other hand, both fighters like to take the lead. It's unclear who will outperform the other in the early rounds. Azeez, with his body defense, can close the gap and unleash powerful shots. Will Buatsi be able to sustain that for long? It's doubtful.

But Azeez will face challenges as well. Joshua has an excellent, precise jab and a heavy right hand. Breaking through against such an opponent is not just difficult; sometimes it's impossible.

So, it's intriguing. Exciting. And it also raises the question: perhaps it's the winner who Alexander Gvozdyk might want to fight next year? The Ukrainian won't get a title shot in 2023, at most, a slight increase in opposition. But after that, why not? While the champions are busy, it's finally an opportunity to see if Alexander's skills are enough to challenge the current contenders.