Joshua Buatsi won a 12-round decision over Dan Azeez in their WBA light heavyweight eliminator today in London.
The victory also nets Buatsi the British and Commonwealth titles, which Azeez was defending in the main event fight.
Judges officially saw the fight on scores of 116-110, 117-109, and 117-109 for Buatsi.
The win also puts Buatsi (18-0, 13 KO) in line to face the Beterbiev vs Bivol winner, after that fight was announced for June 1 earlier today.
Buatsi’s body work and left hand up top were the key differences in the fight, as Azeez (20-1, 13 KO) just seemed a step behind for most of the fight.
There were also two knockdowns officially scored in round 11, both Buatsi dropping Azeez, and both questionable, though not easy calls quick and in the moment for referee Bob Williams. The canvas in the ring was slippery throughout the fight, and while Buatsi did land punches in the exchanges, Azeez slipped as he was hit both times.
The knockdowns made no difference on the cards, though. It’s a round Buatsi would have surely won 10-9 anyway, so if you wanted to erase them, then the scores become 116-112 and then two of 117-111, either way a clear win for the 30-year-old Buatsi, who now will probably look to see what happens between Beterbiev and Bivol and then plot the course.