Joshua Buatsi defends his WBA International light heavyweight title against Daniel Blenda Dos Santos at AO Arena in Manchester, England on Saturday, May 15. The contest headlines the Matchroom Boxing fight card live on Sky Sports in the UK and live stream on DAZN in the US, Australia and other countries.
The pre-fight press conference was held on Thursday. Both main event fighters, as well as undercard card competitors previewed their upcoming matchups.
‘I’m there to fight and protect the little that I have’
Undefeated representative of the country-host Joshua Buatsi (13-0, 11 KOs) of Croydon, England shared his thoughts what it means for him to be in the ring, his new trainer Virgil Hunter, and more.
“I’m ready to fight. The thing is there may be a target on me Eddie, but I’m really from the bottom so the build-up is great but that’s not my mentality. I started from nothing as well, moved from Ghana to England, I’ve also come from nothing. I always tell people when I fight, I’ve got nothing to lose, I’m gaining everything and when I go in there the mentally is different. I’ll be there to fight to, I’m there to fight and protect the little that I have.”
“I keep laughing when I say this, prior to a fight you say you’re willing to do anything, but when it was time in the ring when that happened, I had to show up for it and I felt I gave a good account and got the win. Saturday night I’ll be there to do whatever it takes to win because I’m in here to fight. We’ll see how it goes.
“I think if you ask anyone, and they don’t say it, they must be thinking differently. You’re Eddie Hearn right, you’re sitting here, and I think you feel like you’ve signed the best Light-Heavyweight in the country – that speak for itself. For the others, they’re doing well, I’m doing what I’m doing and hopefully one day we can all get in and fight to see. For now, my man next door is who I’ve got to deal with, that’s what I’m concentrating on.
“It’s been good having Virgil on board, amazing, I said I could have 100 coaches in my corner but when that bell rings it’s just you. Nevertheless, having this man here added to the team, we’ll see how to goes – it’ll be good.”
‘The best version of myself’
Unbeaten Daniel Blenda Dos Santos (15-0, 8 KOs) of Pont-Sainte-Maxence, France said he was “going to try” to bring his best when he challenges Buatsi for the belt.
“This is the opportunity of my life,” Dos Santos said. “We know Joshua is a great champion and for me it’s a great opportunity – I appreciate the chance of being here.”
“Boxing saved my life, a guy like me is supposed to be in jail or dead. Thank God I had the opportunity to leave prison, make a real change in my life and become a professional fighter. I changed 100% of my life, my city, everything, now all this work and dedication I’m in this place right now. I have to enjoy the moment.”
“I have to be the best version of myself to beat Joshua Buatsi. That’s what I’m going to try Saturday night.”
The current Buatsi vs Dos Santos fight card and event start time can be found here.
The weigh-in ceremony is conducted today. The live stream is available here.