Buatsi, the WBA’s number one ranked 175-pounder, was set to face Azeez (ranked number 2) initially on October 21st, 2023, at the O2, London. However, the latter suffered an injury to his back during a training session, which delayed the British domestic clash. With a new date now in place, the clash will take place at The OVO Arena, Wembley.
A date of January 13th, 2024, was initially being considered. However, the Artur Beterbiev vs. Callum Smith light heavyweight clash was taking place on the same day, which no longer made that feasible. The winner of Buatis-Azeez will be in line to face either Dmitry Bivol, the current WBA champion at 175, or Lyndon Arthur, as the pair will square off on December 23rd, 2023, in Saudi Arabia. While that may be the case, the winner of that fight is likely to target an undisputed bout with the winner of Beterbiev vs. Smith. And that is why the title eliminator has plenty on the line.
— BoxingScene.com (@boxingscene) November 14, 2023
“I’m excited to get a new date locked in. There’s definitely some unfinished business. The delay has only made me more determined. It’s a very important fight. There is too much on the line for me to contemplate anything other than victory. On February 3rd, I’m going to show why I am the number one in the division. It’s my time to shine,” Joshua Buatsi
“I’m really glad to have recovered. My back feels better than ever and I can’t wait for February 3rd. I’m thankful for BOXXER and Ben Shalom for moving the show for me. The initial date was meant to be January 13th but obviously my trainer will be in the corner for Callum Smith vs Artur Beterbiev so I’m really pleased everyone has been able to accommodate this for what is essentially my world title fight,” Dan Azeez