Joshua Buatsi v Dan Azeez: Back the Well-Travelled Underdog

Boxer Joshua Buatsi
Unbeaten Joshua Buatsi is the hot betting favourite

Dan Azeez is the underdog heading to Wembley, but Betfair's boxing writer Frankie Monkhouse believes there's value in the Londoner...

  • Joshua Buatsi is unbeaten in 17 fights

  • Dan Azeez has a 20-0-0 record

  • British and Commonwealth titles at stake

Joshua Buatsi vs Dan Azeez
Saturday, 22:00
Live on Sky Sports

Battle of the unbeaten

Boxing fans have a compelling British and Commonwealth title fight at light heavyweight on Saturday as Joshua Buatsi faces Dan Azeez at Wembley Arena in a 12-round bout broadcast live on Sky Sports.

We have a meeting of two unbeaten gladiators who know the value of adding another win so early in the year, but which will secure victory and the two belts?

It's Croydon versus Lewisham in this London derby at one of the city's most famous venues. The Boxxer promotion celebrates another huge night of action, with the bill also boasting Caroline Dubois and Ben Whittaker.

But I'll focus on the main attraction and aim to uncover the betting value in the latest from my series of big-fight previews and predictions.

Buatsi in a rush

Ghanian-born London resident Buatsi is back on the big stage as he returns to the ring for his first fight since May 2023. The 30-year-old orthodox boxer was last seen out-pointing respected Pole Pawel Stepien over 10 rounds at the Resorts World Arena in Birmingham. That simple but deserved victory was expected to provide a launchpad for Buatsi's career, but his progress stalled, and he must now make up for lost time.

Buatsi arrives at Wembley Arena with a professional record detailing 17 wins from as many contests, with 13 of those victories coming inside the distance. His most recent stoppage came against Ricards Bolotniks at the Matchroom HQ show in Brentwood during the tense times of the pandemic with that win scored in round 11. He hasn't won in the first half of a contest since 2021.

Does he still possess the raw power needed to compete at the highest level?
Fancy Joshua to secure an 18th win of his career? You can back Buatsi for the victory at 1/41.25 on the Betfair Sportsbook. A KO/TKO will net backers 13/53.60, while a points verdict is deemed more likely at odds of 4/51.80.

Globetrotting Azeez returns home

Azeez makes his first appearance in a British boxing ring since stopping Rocky Fielding inside eight rounds at the Bournemouth International Centre in December 2022.

The 34-year-old Londoner won British and Commonwealth straps that night, blowing Fielding away with an all-action performance. The beaten man, a former Prizefighter champion, suffered a nasty cut and was dumped on the canvas in round seven before his corner threw in the towel in round eight.

After impressively beating Rocky, Azeez decided to box on the road. That's always a dangerous tactic, but Super extended his professional record to 20 wins from 20 bouts following victories in France and Italy. He stopped Thomas Faure in round 12 in Paris and followed that with an eight-round points victory over Khalid Graidia in Verbania.

Do you rate the chances of the underdog in this fight? There's reason to smile when noticing traders have written Azeez off here, offering the win at 3/14.00 and the draw at 16/117.00. Azeez on points is yours at 5/1, and that's our pick over the KO/TKO at 7/18.00 on the Betfair Sportsbook.

Experience will pay

Here, we have a fantastic London derby that's sure to live up to the pre-fight hype. Buatsi and Azeez are two men who have been delayed by inactivity of late but are eager to return to winning ways and get their careers on track. Which man will grab the win needed to set up an important year, leading to bigger fights for higher-ranked titles and those eye-catching pay cheques?

Azeez is the more experienced fighter, and his time on the road boxing in Europe would've helped take him to the next level. He's a strong character who proved he's as happy boxing away from home without support as he is fighting at Wembley in front of thousands cheering his name. What's more, Dan is also the value play in this bout.

Prolonged breaks in both boxers' careers suggest a tentative start, and for that reason, I'm backing Azeez to score a second points win on the bounce and a third in five fights. Take Azeez to win on points @ 5/16.00 on the Betfair Sportsbook.

Back Azeez to Win on points @ 5/16.00

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Now read more UK Other Sport previews and tips here.

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