Joshua Buatsi-Willy Hutchinson ordered for WBO interim light-heavyweight strap

AFTER his breakout performance on Saturday night Willy Hutchinson could next face another Brit with much more at stake.

The Scot’s one-sided unanimous decision win over the vastly more experienced Craig Richards caught the eye of many observers who watched the 25-year-old announce himself on the world stage.

Having notched the first point on the board for Queensberry in their 5 vs. 5 battle with Matchroom Hutchinson was also rewarded with the WBC silver light-heavyweight title. However, news broke overnight that the WBO have ordered Hutchinson to face Joshua Buatsi for the vacant interim title at 175lbs.

The purse bid order came after the WBO wrote Anthony Yarde was “uninterested” and “therefore, unavailable to fight” Buatsi for the belt bringing Hutchinson into the picture. Both Queensberry and Boxxer (who promote Buatsi) now have 10 days to reach an agreement.

Artur Beterbiev, who holds the full version of the WBO title – along with the WBC and IBF – will defend his belts against WBA champion Dmitry Bivol for the undisputed light-heavyweight title on October 12 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The pair had been scheduled to fight two nights ago (June 1) but Beterbiev pulled out due to injury leaving Bivol with a defence against Malik Zinad which the Russian won by sixth round stoppage in between the 5 vs. 5 event.

Hutchinson’s win over Richards was the biggest of his career to date and proved his worth to promoter Frank Warren despite not notching up a notable win since his loss to Lennox Clarke for the British and Commonwealth titles in March 2021.

Speaking to Boxing News after his victory on Saturday night Hutchinson had this to say to those who doubted him before he stepped through the ropes.

“Listen, don’t worry about it. Next time, you will get it right and thank you so much.”

Things could have been oh so different when Hutchinson decided to fight fire with fire in round 10 and trade hellacious shots with Richards which at one stage looked like turning the fight dramatically in his favour.

“I love to risk it,” Hutchinson said.

“I love to risk it for a biscuit. What’s the point of life without risking it, innit? So, I enjoyed it. It was very hard, very good and I’ve overcome everything.”

Buatsi, the WBO number one contender, kicked off his 2024 with a points win over friend and former sparring partner Dan Azeez in February. The Londoner showed all sides to his game and silenced a few critics of his own with his display in a domestic Fight of the Year contender. Now, sadly, Buatsi vs. Yarde, just like Anthony Joshua vs. Deontay Wilder, seems to be confined to the ‘Ones that got away’ record books.

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