Joshua Buatsi Rejects IBF Eliminator Against Jean Pascal
Things haven’t been going smoothly for Joshua Buatsi and Eddie Hearn lately as the duo has once again found themselves in hot water.
Buatsi (16-0, 13 KO) was due to face Jean Pascal in a title eliminator as ordered by IBF, but it turns out that the fight will not be going ahead as planned. Earlier today, boxing journalist Dan Rafael revealed that Joshua Buatsi “fail[ed] to return [a] signed agreement” for his IBF final eliminator against Pascal by the mandated deadline.
So, now the No. 5 Pascal will face No. 6 Michael Eifert, for a crack at one of Artur Beterbiev’s belts.
One of the reasons Buatsi turned down this fight is that Hearn failed to land the fight at DAZN as Matchroom boxing was outbid by their rivals, Lou DiBella who won the rights last month.
As a result, the fight would have been aired on BT Sport if it had gone to plan.
Hearn was also involved in skirmishes of words with Pascal (36-6-1, 20 KO) and Rafael accusing that Pascal didn’t agree to VADA testing. To this, the Canadian fighter didn’t hold back and insisted that he had already filled out the forms, which were later confirmed by Rafael stating that Pascal had already signed the IBF bout agreement that included testing.
It’s not the first time, Hearn and Buatsi have turned down the fight at the last moment as they previously declined a European title fight with Callum Johnson after Frank Warren won the purse bid.
And in this ongoing row, Buatsi claims that he has got another fight in his hands in the form of Callum Smith, but it’s very unlikely that duel will happen in the near future as Smith is already the WBC mandatory and is eyeing another title shot.