Frank Warren: Anthony Yarde-Joshua Buatsi ‘Definitely a London Fight’

Anthony Yarde and Joshua Buatsi remain on course for an eagerly awaited light heavyweight showdown.

On consecutive weekends last month, Buatsi first regained the British title by outfighting South London rival Dan Azeez on Sky Sports and then took his seat at ringside to watch Yarde dispatch the overmatched Marko Nikilic inside three one-sided rounds.

Two-time world-title challenger Yarde (25-3, 24 KOs) has been calling for a meeting with his London rival for some time, and when the normally reserved Buatsi (18-0, 13 KOs) appeared on TNT Sports to share Yarde’s postfight interview and express his own interest in the fight, momentum behind a clash seemed unstoppable.

The fight has been overtaken by other news in recent weeks, but behind the scenes Yarde’s promoter, Frank Warren, remains focused on making sure the fight happens.

“Me, personally, that’s the fight I’d like to see – and I think everybody would in the U.K.,” Warren told Queensberry’s YouTube channel. “It’s a rivalry that everybody has been talking about for a long, long time, and we need to make it happen. After Anthony’s last fight, [Buatsi] was at ringside and they both said they wanted the fight, so we’ve got to try and make it happen.”

Although Saudi Arabia is quickly becoming the home of big-time boxing, some fights just belong in Britain.

The upcoming rematch between Josh Taylor and Jack Catterall is a prime example. The super lightweight grudge match would have been lost in the crowd if it had been positioned as part of a Saudi megacard. Instead, it captured the imagination of British fight fans and sold out Leeds’ First Direct Arena in minutes.

The rivalry between Yarde and Buatsi doesn’t have the same bite as Taylor-Catterall, but the battle to crown Britain’s best light heavyweight would dominate headlines and sell out any arena in the U.K. Warren is of the same mind.

“It’s a London fight,” he said. “They’re both Londoners, it’s definitely a London fight. We’ll find an appropriate venue for it – don’t worry about that.”

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