Joshua Buatsi and Dan Azeez commerce barbs as undefeated British light-heavyweight contenders and former sparring companions put together to face off for a shot at pound-for-pound nice Dmitry Bivol

Joshua Buatsi and Dan Azeez’s friendship was rapidly put to relaxation on Monday afternoon because the undefeated pair bickered over who known as for his or her all-British light-heavyweight conflict.

Once South London mates now turned rivals, Buatsi and Azeez shall be beating one another’s horns on the O2 Arena on October 21 in a gripping match that can see a ultimate elimination of the title from WBA champion Dmitry Bivol, who earned severe credit score as among the finest pounds-for-pound fighters when he outsmarted Canelo Alvarez final yr.

Sky Sports and BOXXER had been fast to reassure followers that this wouldn’t flip into an unpleasant ‘table-flipping’ affair between two former sparring companions, however some rigidity bubbled underneath the floor when Azeez claimed former Matchroom star Buatsi’ requested for the struggle. ‘.

‘Did I ask for Dan? No, after I got here to Sky I mentioned “Dan is my man so give me someone else”. After my second struggle I mentioned I need to struggle instantly in August, however I mentioned I might struggle Dan if the stakes are excessive.

“They said it could be a final eliminator for the WBA. I’m not going to say no to that, Dan isn’t going to say no to that, so it makes sense. The story he has that I keep asking I don’t care.

Joshua Buatsi and Dan Azeez have put their friendship aside as they prepare for a WBA title eliminator in October

But former British light heavyweight champion Buatsi insisted meeting his former sparring partner is necessary to get him to a world title.

Azeez risked Buatsi’s wrath by replying, “I don’t want you to be ashamed to say you asked for me.”

“I didn’t ask for you,” Buatsi hit again. “I asked for a final eliminator and I got a final eliminator, so let’s continue with that.

“There is always something to prove. Whenever I enter boxing grounds, I find that it’s pretty much about the winner. Sometimes it doesn’t even matter. At the Olympics, people just look at it, ‘that person won gold, that person won silver, and that person won bronze’. Just win. So as long as I win, that’s all that matters.

“Dance a friend of mine, but what’s at stake allows me to put that aside. Of course we’re here to fight for world titles and this brings me one step closer, so right now it’s the most important fight of my life.

Azeez, who has experienced incredible growth in the sport from an economics student at Essex University to a fighter now competing for a world title, interrupted Buatsi and goaded him again. He reminded him that the question was “why is this fight happening now” moderately than “why is this fight important.”

‘Why is it happening? Because you are the man I have to go through,’ Buatsi mentioned. “It’s a final eliminator, so it must be you Dan.

Buatsi was asked about comments he made during their Gloves Are Off where he called Azeez “a soft touch” however refused to double down.

“The bottom line is that it doesn’t matter. Whether I think he’s a soft touch or not, we’re going to find out on October 21. He’s on the other side of the ring and I know what’s going to happen.’

In response to Buatsi’s previous claims that he was a ‘step below’ him, Azeez sacked him and mocked his progress since winning the British lightweight title in 2019.

“That’s all fun and games – he won the British title three years ago, and then?” Azez mentioned. “I now have the British title. Not only did I win it and bounce, I stood there and defended it. I haven’t had easy touches, I’ve done my thing too.

Current title holder Azeez wondered why Buatsi failed to defend the title after winning it in 2019

The winner in October will take on Dmitry Bivol, the pound-for-pound great famed for his victory over Canelo Alvarez last year

“Buatsi is an Olympian and an elite fighter and we are going to give you a great fight. I need my hand and I am sure he will say raise his hand and we will not stop until our goals are achieved.”

Dereck Chisora, Azeez, channeling his interior self, shocked the media – and Buatsi himself – by strolling into Glazier’s Hall sporting a hat that reads “WAR” throughout the entrance.

“I’m at war with everything,” he insisted. War with myself to enhance and overcome the obstacles I must succeed, conflict with the doubters who assume I can’t. At conflict with a good friend who stands for my goals and aspirations. It’s simply conflict.’

Buatsi added: “I was calm this morning and then Dan came in with ‘war’ on his hat. I said to myself, “Blimey Josh, wake up the fuck”. I’m conscious that October 21 goes to be conflict and you’ll all witness it.’