WBO orders Buatsi vs Yarde for interim title

WBO orders Buatsi vs Yarde for interim title

With reigning light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev out of commission for the immediate future, the WBO has ordered Joshua Buatsi to face Anthony Yarde for the interim title in a long-overdue domestic showdown. The two have 10 days to negotiate and avoid a purse bid, which would feature a $300,000 minimum.

Buatsi (18-0, 13 KO) and Yarde (25-3, 24 KO) have been circling each other for years, but somehow never crossed paths. To be fair, they’ve employed very different means of career advancement; Buatsi has patiently worked his way through the ranks, beating noteworthy countrymen like Craig Richards and Dan Azeez, while Yarde splits his time between squashing no-hopers and falling short in world title fights.

A secondary title should be pretty enticing, but it’s worth noting that Buatsi’s win over Azeez was a WBA eliminator, meaning he may not want to risk what could become an undisputed title shot when/if Beterbiev and Dmitry Bivol finally settle the score. Honestly, though, this is the WBA we’re talking about; there’s no guarantee they’ll ever call Buatsi’s number, especially when there’s a good chance the WBC will push for the winner of David Benavidez vs Oleksandr Gvozdyk to jump the line. Duking it out with Yarde for what’s sure to be a tidy sum seems the better plan to me.

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