- Joshua Buatsi vs Dan Azeez will take place at Wembley Arena this Saturday
- Both light-heavyweight fighters go into the fight holding undefeated records
- Former world champion Andre Ward is impressed by what he sees from Buatsi
Joshua Buatsi has received a ringing endorsement from former world champion Andre Ward ahead of his fight with Dan Azeez.
Undefeated Brits Buatsi and Azeez meet this Saturday at Wembley Arena in a fight that could determine the future challenger for the WBA light-heavyweight championship – currently held by Dmitry Bivol.
The pair – both from south London – are ranked No 1 and 2 respectively with the WBA, while Bivol is widely expected to next fight Artur Beterbiev in an undisputed clash for the light-heavyweight belts.
Ahead of Buatsi’s stern test with Azeez, the 30-year-old – born in Accra, Ghana – has received praise from former world champion Ward.
Speaking on Sky Sports’ Toe2Toe podcast, Ward said: ‘He’s a great listener.
Andre Ward (left) has praised Joshua Buatsi (right) ahead of his fight with Dan Azeez
Buatsi fights fellow unbeaten light-heavyweight Dan Azeez (pictured) in a much-anticipated bout
‘There’s not a lot of fighters today at all different ages that actually have great work ethics and live like fighters, but he’s that guy. ‘So, I just appreciate that about him.
‘So, he’s got to continue to win. He’s obviously got to continue to sharpen up his style and become more fluid in his approach, but I’ve seen a lot of growth in him.
‘I’ve seen a lot of great things in sparring when I went to check him out and I’m just excited for his fight that’s coming up.’
Buatsi, the No 1 ranked light-heavyweight contender with the WBA, has been coached by Ward’s former trainer Virgil Hunter since 2021.
Hunter oversaw Ward’s career as he recorded 32 wins, 16 via knockout, and won world championships at super-middle and light-heavyweight before retiring unbeaten.
Ward says Buatsi has a ‘great work ethic’ which he claims many fighters don’t have
Buatsi holds a 17-0 record with 13 knockouts, last defeating Pawel Stepien via unanimous decision last May.
Azeez, 34, meanwhile holds a 20-0 unbeaten record and will provide a stern test for Buatsi.
They were due to meet in October before Azeez was forced to pull out with an injury.