BY STEFAN FROST
Joshua Buatsi has pulled out of his upcoming fight against Maxim Vlasov after suffering a hand injury.
The 28-year-old was scheduled to appear on the undercard of Derek Chisora’s rematch with Joseph Parker on December 18 at the AO Arena in Manchester.
Buatsi picked up the injury while sparring in preparation for the fight and has been replaced on the card by Scotland’s unbeaten bantamweight and current European title holder Lee McGregor, who will take on Armenian Narek Abgaryan.
Matchroom Boxing tweeted: “Due to a hand injury sustained to Joshua Buatsi in training camp, Buatsi vs Vlasov is off the Parker vs Chisora 2 card. We wish JB well on his road to recovery.”
News of Buatsi’s absence has disappointed many as his showdown with Vlasov was the highlight of the undercard, pitting an up-and-coming talent against a veteran of the sport.
The highly experienced Vlasov has 45 wins to his name and would have tested the power and endurance of the unbeaten Buatsi who has completed 15 career fights as a light-heavyweight, claiming an impressive 13 knockouts in the process.
The Brit’s last fight in August of this year against Ricards Bolotniks ended with an 11th-round stoppage
Buatsi was preparing to build on that performance when facing a tougher challenge in Vlasov, who last fought in April for the vacant WBO light-heavyweight title. The Russian lost by majority decision to American Joe Smith Jr but remains a top-10 fighter in his weight class.
Had Buatsi defeated Vlasov, his promoter Eddie Hearn was preparing a potential world title fight in early 2022 for him against Joe Smith or Dmitry Bivol, who holds the WBA Super title.
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