Joshua Buatsi vs Pawel Stepien fight verdict and suggested bets

·3-min read
Getty Images

Date, start time and venue

Saturday, May 6, at the Resorts World Arena, Birmingham. This 12-round light heavyweight contest takes place between two unbeaten fighters. Start time 6pm, main event ring walks approximately 10pm, live on Sky Sports.

Suggested bet

Scroll to continue with content

Fight to go over 6.5 rounds Joshua Buatsi to win in rounds 8-10

Buatsi vs Stepien undercard

Kaisee Benjamin vs Sean McComb Lauren Price vs Kirstie Bavington Tyler Denny vs Macaulay McGowan Cori Gibbs vs Jimmy First Shakan Pitters vs Joel McIntyre Ben Whitaker vs Jordan Grant Danny Quartermaine vs TBA

Buatsi vs Stepien fight preview

'Just Business' Buatsi has been out of the ring a year and that may well be his biggest hurdle when he fights Poland's Stepien in Birmingham on Saturday. A switch to Boxxer and Sky Sports was announced in March in a bid to try and give the 30-year-old a bigger platform and he will go up against Stepien - in his first fight outside of his homeland.

Inactivity, which can partly put down to the Covid pandemic, combined with injury has rather stagnated his progress. Buatsi has watched London rivals Dan Azeez and Anthony Yarde flourish and he will be desperate to maintain his number one status with the WBA and dispose of the previously unbeaten Stepien.

The former British champion won a unanimous verdict last May, beating British rival Craig Richards in a humdinger of a fight at the O2 Arena.

The pair served up a classic in which Buatsi started the better in round one. But Richards, who went the distance with WBA champion Dmitry Bivol, had moments of his own before Buatsi took it on the cards 116-112 and 115-113 twice. Buatsi (16-0) showed in that clash he likes to close the distance and fight inside and he does carry power, knocking out 13 of his rivals. Sky Sports claim the Pole is "dangerous" and the fact that he was scheduled to fight Callum Smith in March, before the Scouser got injured, shows his pedigree. "I know he hasn't lost before, 18-0-1 with a good knockout percentage so a Polish fighter that's going to be hungry, that's going to fight, that's going to have the mentality of if I beat this guy who's highly ranked it puts him up there," Buatsi told Sky Sports. Stepien is the older man at 32, but the only blemish on his 19-fight career is a draw with Marek Matyja in 2019. He is making a step up, but holds a ranking of four with the IBF, while he is ranked inside the top 15 with the WBO and the WBA.

He carries power in both hands and has a 66% knockout ratio, while he has previously stopped opponents with body punches.

The 9/1 price may well be a little bit disrespectful to the Polish champion. Stepien defeated Ezequiel Osvaldo Maderna in his penultimate fight in March 2022. And if you look through Maderna's record, he was the man who shocked Frank Warren's up-and-coming star Karol Itauma in January at Wembley.

So Stepien has some pedigree and he will come and stand toe-to-toe with Buatsi (1/16) in what could be another thrilling dust-up.

Neither will take a step backwards and it's unlikely this will go the distance, but Buatsi's class might just be enough to stop Stepien in the second half of the fight.

The article Joshua Buatsi vs Pawel Stepien fight verdict and suggested bets appeared first on