Joshua Buatsi claims points victory over Craig Richards to move step closer to earning a title shot

Joshua Buatsi enjoyed a victorious outing at the O2 Arena on Saturday night, with the 29-year-old coming out on top in an all-British showdown with Craig Richards.

Joshua Buatsi continued his unbeaten run in professional boxing on Saturday night, extending his record to 16-0 with a unanimous decision against Craig Richards.

The experienced Richards has now seen his record drop to 17-3, with one judge scoring the bout 116-112, while the other two scored it 115-113 in favour of Buatsi.

Buatsi was forced to work hard for the victory, with Richards not afraid to stand and trade shots with the hard-hitting 29-year-old.

Richards was even able to stagger Buatsi in the eighth round with a stunning uppercut, but the Olympic bronze medalist did well to recover and fire back with a combination of his own in the 10th round, causing Richards this time to stumble back to his corner.

But Buatsi ended up coming out on top to claim the win in what was an eliminator for Dmitry Bivol's WBA title, moving him one step closer to earning himself a shot at the light heavyweight title.

"We want the world title. We've made it very clear. We are ready," Buatsi said post-fight.

"It couldn't have been a great fight without Spider [Richards] so maximum respect to him.

"It takes two to do it and he did it. He pushed me every round. I knew it was a close fight but I'd say I hurt Spider more. You could argue for both."

As pointed out by Buatsi, arguements could be made for both fighters to have won the fight, but Richards was gracious in defeat after missing out on the decision.

"I finished strong but credit to Joshua. A hell of a fighter. I should say thank God for this occasion, thanks to Josh, a good dance partner."

He added: "I think the fans are the winners today. We put on a hell of a show."

Buatsi will now eagerly await to find out whether Bivol will rematch Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez. If not, the Brit and promoter Eddie Hearn will work hard to make a title fight with the Russian fighter.

"There is nothing in the middle now between this and a world title," promoter Eddie Hearn said.

"I think that is where he might go. I'd love to see a second fight between these two but I know where he wants to go.

Hearn added: "I think Dmitry Bivol, if he is available towards the end of the year, that is the fight."

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