Joshua Buatsi has opened up on why he ditched DAZN in order to fight on Sky Sports under the Boxxer banner.
The light-heavyweight has been part of Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom stable ever since he turned over in the wake of the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Hearn has steered Buatsi to 16-0 (13) and a British title in his six years as a professional but the pair have now parted company as the 30-year-old has instead penned a deal with Ben Shalom’s Boxxer.
And at the London press conference to announce the signing, Buatsi insisted that his decision to jump ship was driven by a desire to be boxing on television again, as opposed to the DAZN app with Hearn.
He said: “I want everyone to be able to sit at home and say ‘Buatsi is boxing today’ and if they’re not going they know what channel to turn to.
“I’m not going to tell you to download an app, type in your email or your bank details. Just type in your TV channel and you can watch me fight.
“The most important thing to me was people having access to watching me. I’ve had some fights, hard fights like my last one against [Craig] Spider [Richards]. But I asked myself ‘how many people watched that fight?’ And I don’t think a lot of people saw it.
“For the blood and the sweat that I shed in that fight it’s important to me that people can watch it, that people have access to watch it. The message is simple. I’m back on national TV that everyone has access to.”
Hearn recently revealed that he offered Buatsi ‘well over £1m’ to fight Dmitry Bivol for his WBA light heavyweight title while also suggesting that he was hoping to make a fight between Buatsi and another of his 175lbers, Callum Smith, too.
But Buatsi is relaxed about his world title aspirations and says he is hoping to work his way into a mandatory position instead of taking a voluntary shot.
He added: “Straight away I’m top three in three of the governing bodies so it’s now a case of maneuvering myself in the right way so I become a mandatory.
“So if any of the champions say ‘Buatsi, let’s rock’ I can say ‘no problem, talk to my promoter, let’s make it happen. There’s not a specific name, I just want to get my hands on a belt.”
Buatsi’s first fight with Boxxer is on May 6 in Birmingham and, after announcing this deal, the Ghana-born star will now head back to Hayward, California to get into camp with Virgil Hunter once again.
“I’ve been working very hard since I’ve been here [in London],” he said. “But I aim to go back to the States maybe the end of this week to carry on the hard work but May 6, I’m going to put on a show and pick up where I left off.”