Joshua Buatsi returns to the ring to headline the final event in Matchroom’s Fight Camp 2.0 series against Ricards Bolotniks in a fight that Eddie Hearn is dubbing the ‘acid-test’ for Buatsi’s hopes to step up and challenge for a world title.

Bolotniks is fresh off three back-to-back victories in his quest to seal the light-heavyweight Golden Contract title, his confidence will be high heading into the bout, but he’ll have to come through Britain’s #1 rated light-heavyweight prospect.

We preview the fight in full and pick out the best odds.

One win away

British boxing fans have been high on the prospect of watching Joshua Buatsi step up to fight a world ranked opponent for over two years now, and it doesn’t get any closer than fighting European light-heavyweight champion Ricards Bolotniks.

Bolotniks, who had a patchy start to his professional career, will be buoyed be his performances in the Golden Contract light-heavyweight competition, ripping through Brit Steven Ward in the first round of the quarter-final, teaching Hosea Burton a boxing lesson in the semi-final, and then a 10th and final round, TKO victory against world ranked contender Serge Michel.

With Buatsi though, it’s his knockout artistry that will concern fans of Bolotniks, who endured two knockout defeats in the early stage of his career – only once has the Brit left the result in the hands of the judges during his 14-fight career. He’ll have no fear in facing someone who has put together a strong run of victories in their recent form.

Promoter Eddie Hearn believes that the 28-year-old is ready to challenge for a world title in late 2021 against WBA (Super) light-heavyweight champion Dimitry Bivol, who had been mentioned as a possible fight for Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in the near future.

Should Buatsi breakdown Bolotniks in good fashion, the Bivol fight could well happen before the end of the year if all parties are happy with a deal. Should ‘Canelo’ fight Caleb Plant for the undisputed super-middleweight championship around the same time, the winner of each of those fights could meet for a super-bout in early/mid 2022. The light-heavyweight division hasn’t looked this good for a long time.

Unsurprisingly, Buatsi heads into this bout as the 1/8 favourite, and 4/11 to win the fight by KO TKO or DQ, Bolotniks 9/2 and 7/1 to win in those two markets respectively.

An early first-round victory for Buatsi is priced at 22/1.