Summary List Placement
British boxer Joshua Buatsi blasted through his light heavyweight opponent Daniel dos Santos in just four rounds Saturday at the AO Arena in Manchester, England.
Long regarded as one of his country’s power punchers with 11 knockouts from 13 wins in 13 fights heading into his weekend showdown, Buatsi bludgeoned another overmatched fighter who couldn’t stand up to his shots.
Dos Santos may have been unbeaten heading into the fight, but nobody on his 15-fight resume would have served as a bridging opponent between the regional-level French circuit and Buatsi.
It was not long before the gulf in quality became apparent as Buatsi probed with jabs, cuffed dos Santos with left hooks to the chops, and varied the destination of his shots from the body to the top when throwing combinations.
He had dos Santos on the floor in the second round, grew irate with his opponent in the third when he was illegally rugby tackled to the ground, before closing the show in devastating fashion with 20 seconds remaining in the fourth.
The catalyst for the finish was later revealed to have come from Buatsi’s new trainer, Virgil Hunter, renowned for his work with the former two-weight world champion Andre Ward, who retired undefeated in 2017. Hunter told Buatsi to faint shots for the body before throwing a bomb over the top.
Buatsi followed the plan when he had dos Santos backed into a neutral corner. He dipped his knees as if he was going to throw a jab to the gut before correcting his position and resetting. A half-second later, he did the exact same move except, rather than resetting, he threw a nasty right hand over the top that cracked dos Santos perfectly on the chin.
The 30-year-old Frenchman was unconscious before he hit the canvas but caught a follow-up blow before he hit the ground as Buatsi was in full motion of a punch routine, clattering him with a dig to the jaw after ducking underneath his opponent’s flailing fist.
Within a second, Buatsi seemed shocked at how dos Santos reacted. The visiting combatant collapsed in a heap on the floor and, for a while, seemed non-responsive.
Medical personnel rushed the ring and, after dos Santos regained consciousness, asked him if he knew where he was. At first, dos Santos said London, before saying the correct answer of Manchester.
When he got to his feet, he began crying uncontrollably. So much so that Buatsi went across the ring and tried to console the beaten fighter.
‘I hope he’s okay’
Watch the fight-finishing sequence here:
The Slo-Mo of Buatsi’s KO of Dos Santos. 💥
BRUTAL 🤯 pic.twitter.com/6QQrg3B2ob
— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) May 15, 2021
After showing genuine concern for his opponent, Buatsi said: “I hope he’s okay.”
On the knockout, he explained, “Virgil gave me the perfect instructions and I followed them.
“When I step in that ring, it’s a dog mentality. This is a fight. I’m here to take everything. We’re here to win, but we’re not here to hurt anyone.”
Having advanced his pro boxing record to 14 wins (12 knockouts), Buatsi is linked with a domestic showdown against Craig Richards, but would benefit from taking on one of the faded but still highly-competent greats of the division like Jean Pascal or Badou Jack, who fight each other June 6.
“We will have a week off and then we’re back in the gym to keep building,” Buatsi said.
Earlier in the card, Jason Cunningham out-pointed Gamal Yafai in a super bantamweight slobber knocker, and blue-chip prospect Dalton Smith beat Lee Appleyard in a super lightweight fight that had the English title on the line.
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