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Joshua Buatsi Leaves DAZN/Matchroom, Joins Up With Sky Sports/Boxxer Instead

Joshua Buatsi Leaves DAZN-Matchroom, Joins Up With Sky Sports-Boxxer Instead featured image
British Light-Heavyweight contender, Joshua Buatsi, is now planning to make due on his plans to take over the division following his departure from Matchroom/DAZN to Boxxer/Sky Sports. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The long-standing relationship between Joshua Buatsi and boxing promotion Matchroom has subsided after the British Light-Heavyweight fighter opted out of his contract with the promotion to fight for Boxxer instead. Boxxer is another promotion that features their fights on the highly-prevalent British sports channel, Sky Sports.

The undefeated Joshua Buatsi (16-0, 13 KO’s), who has long been considered one of the best British prospects and has meanwhile moved into a stage where he is regarded as a legitimate contender and competitor in the Light-Heavyweight division, had previously fought on Sky Sports when Matchroom still worked together with the sports channel, but he hasn’t been featured on their network since Matchroom switched over to DAZN in April of 2021. Since Matchroom’s move, Buatsi has fought under the DAZN banner for roughly two years but has now clearly decided to change direction, citing several key factors that led to his decision including feeling like he wasn’t a priority for either DAZN or Matchroom.

The thing is, a mil was offered (to fight Dmitry Bivol). Was it solely, fight Bivol for a mil, and that’s it? Or were there other caveats, other extension clauses, other things that came with it?” Joshua Buatsi explained in an interview with Seconds Out.

Of course there were other things that came with it that I wasn’t happy about, and looking out for myself as the fighter and the person, I said no.” Buatsi continued. “Agreeing to fight Bivol and having another four/five fight extension, why would I want to do that? Why would I be somewhere where I don’t feel like a priority.

The news of Buatsi leaving Matchroom shows an eerie similarity to another British talent, Lawrence Okolie (18-0, 14 KO’s), who also left Matchroom in December of last year after implying Matchroom was setting up barriers to prevent him from negotiating with Eddie Hearn about his contract. Buatsi’s case seems similar to Okolie’s, with him also being involved in a contractual dispute that affected his career. These recent departures show a disturbing trend of British fighters leaving the UK-based Matchroom since their DAZN deal.

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WBO Light-Heavyweight champion, Lawrence Okolie, also left Matchroom following a dispute over contracts and his treatment as a fighter. (Photo by Paul Cooper/Contour by Getty Images)

Despite two well-known British fighters – one of them being a world champion – leaving the Matchroom-DAZN partnership within the span of three months, the promotion still employs a multitude of top competitive professional boxers, with at least forty-two fighters known to be British, including the likes of former unified Heavyweight champion, Anthony Joshua (24-3, 22 KO’s), hopeful Heavyweight contender Fabio Wardley (15-0, 14 KO’s), and current women’s undisputed champion at Junior Welterweight/Super Lightweight, Chantelle Cameron (17-0, 8 KO’s).

Matchroom is also still home to renowned international fighters such as WBA Light-Heavyweight champion, Dmitry Bivol (21-0, 11 KO’s), women’s undisputed Lightweight champion, Katie Taylor (22-0, 6 KO’s), and the women’s undisputed Junior Lightweight/Super Featherweight champion, Alycia Baumgardner (14-1, 7 KO’s).

There is further doubts as to whether Buatsi leaving truly constitutes a loss for Matchroom or DAZN who enjoy a plethora of well-known boxers as part of its roster who have garnered plenty of interest in the sport of boxing. Joshua Buatsi has also not seemed to reach the potential that was expected of him at the start of his promotional deal with Matchroom, with him having yet to taste a chance for a world title and not always fighting the best of opponents.

However, the matchmaking of Buatsi’s lackluster opponents can be attributed to Matchroom themselves, and Joshua Buatsi’s own words suggest his career seemed to be less important than that of other careers, which might have led to him disappointedly not making the progress he could have made.

In any case, Buatsi seemed excited at his new home and he has already professed to be up for fighting the best in his first interview as a Boxxer/Sky Sports fighter.

I want to fight anyone, whoever it is. Most importantly, I want to get a world title.” Joshua Buatsi expressed excitedly to Sky Sports.