Croydon boxer Joshua Buatsi has got what he always wanted, and now he is eyeing an even bigger prize.
The 21-year-old is the new light-heavyweight English national champion, after beating Lyndon Arthur at the England Boxing Elite Championship Finals formerly the ABAs] in Liverpool last weekend.
Having won the junior ABA title twice before, taking the adult crown was the icing on his cake.
However, victory in Liverpool has almost certainly guaranteed Buatsi, who boxes out of South Norwood & Victory, a spot in the England team at this year’s Commonwealth Games.
“I was over the moon to win the senior ABA title, it is a title that every amateur boxer wants to win,” Buatsi, who is studying management studies and sports science at university, said.
“Going to the Commonwealth Games will be a huge step up to the international level, up against the amateur champions from all over the Commonwealth.
“But what it will do is give me more exposure, and I will make the most of the experience of facing different boxers from different countries.
“There will be so many different styles of boxing that all I can do is learn.”
He added: “The aim is to go professional and most boxers who win the ABAs go pro straight away, but I want to spend time on the international scene and develop as a boxer.”
Buatsi’s unanimous points victory over Arthur came after wins over Zach Parker (unanimous) and Tom Barry (split).
He said: “Lyndon [Arthur] is a slick boxer, taller than me and with a long range.
“The plan was to not give him any space, and use my jab to get in close where I could do damage.
“I mixed shots to his head and body, but rather than one-two combinations, where he could easily counter, I was going in with three or four shots – so it was a really fast and intensive fight and I was up for it.”