On Saturday night, Joshua Buatsi will make his return to the ring after more than a year of being sidelined due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The unbeaten light-heavyweight prospect has a record of 12-0 with 10 knockouts and will be facing the less experienced Pawel Stepien, who has a record of 13-3 with four knockouts. Buatsi has been touted as a potential future world champion and has been steadily climbing the ranks in the 175-pound division. The fight will take place at the Matchroom HQ in Brentwood, England, with fans in attendance for the first time in over a year due to the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions.
Meanwhile, John Ryder will be travelling to Mexico City to face off against one of boxing’s pound-for-pound best fighters, Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez. The bout was originally scheduled to take place in December of last year, but Ryder was forced to withdraw due to illness. Ryder’s record stands at 28-5 with 16 knockouts, and he will be looking to cause a huge upset against the Mexican superstar. Alvarez has a record of 56-1-2 with 38 knockouts and is coming off a dominant victory over Billy Joe Saunders in May, where he added the WBO super-middleweight title to his collection. The fight will take place at the Estadio Jalisco and is expected to draw a large crowd, with Alvarez being a massively popular figure in his home country.
Overall, this weekend promises to be a thrilling one for boxing fans. Buatsi’s return will be a chance for him to show his growth as a fighter during his time away from the sport, while Ryder will be attempting to shock the world against one of the sport’s biggest names. The sport has undoubtedly been impacted by the pandemic, but the return of fans to live events and the scheduling of high-profile fights such as these signal a return to a sense of normalcy. The future of boxing looks bright, and this weekend’s events are likely to be just the beginning of what promises to be a packed schedule in the coming months.