By Thomas Lyons of The Fight Business
British light-heavyweight prospect Joshua Buatsi has been handed his first stern test when he faces Ricky Summers (15-1) on the undercard of the crunch heavyweight clash between Dillian Whyte and Joseph Parker at the O2 Arena on July 28.
Summer’s only defeat came when challenging Frank Buglioni for the British title last July, losing on points but a win against Buatsi (6-0) could put him right back in contention for a shot at the Lord Lonsdale belt, held by Callum Johnson.
The Olympic Bronze medallist, Buatsi, has been nothing short of sensational on his professional journey so far, showing such maturity, an excellent repertoire of shots and world-class balance and composure when holding the centre of the ring.
Since turning over to the paid ranks, the Croydon star has been provided with the platform to showcase his natural talent and given important learning fights to build him into the complete fighter in preparation for biggest tests down the line.
Although his first major title shot has come earlier than expected, Buatsi has expressed his interest in taking genuine 50-50 fights and is confident in his ability to reach the pinnacle of the sport.
Buatsi is on a collision course with domestic rival Anthony Yarde as the pair and constantly mentioned with one another and both are putting their undefeated records on the line to get closer to that fight while taking calculated gambles to forward their respective careers.
Yarde is slightly ahead of Buatsi at the moment and looks to move to 16-0 when he faces southpaw Dariusz Sek on June 23.
Buatsi is amongst a hugely competitive mix of light-heavyweight contenders including the likes of Buglioni, Yarde, Jake Ball, Craig Richards and so on.
Meanwhile, Kell Brook looks to move a step closer to a shot at Jarrett Hurd’s IBF World title when he takes on highly-ranked Brandon Cook in a final eliminator, while Katie Taylor defends both her WBA and IBF lightweight titles against mandatory challenger Kimberly Connors.
There is also a repeat of last year’s Fight of the Year contender between Conor Benn and France’s Cedric Peynaud added to the bill.