Taking his first baby step back into the ring since the pandemic, Joshua Buatsi will be looking to shake off the ring rust against the relatively unknown, Marko Calic.

Matchroom: Buatsi vs Calic Predictions & Results

Anthony Joshua’s protege, Joshua Buatsi, is not at much threat of losing his undefeated record on Sunday. At only twenty-seven years old, Buatsi has patiently progressed with his career and taken the time to establish himself at each level of the game. Smashing domestic counterpart, Liam Conroy, in just three rounds to nab the British title, Buatsi has since been dismantling the European scene. A first-round stoppage of Tony Averlant (who took Anthony Yarde seven rounds), a four-round thumping of Marco Antonio Periban under the bright lights of MSG, and most recently a seven-round display of calculated boxing versus Ryan Ford’s sheer athleticism.

Marko Calic does not constitute a step into the world title level just yet. Calic is an undefeated fighter with over 190 amateur fights, there is no doubting he has polished fundamentals. Calic, however, has never faced a live body in the professional ranks and Buatsi also represents his first shot at a professional title. What Calic will provide is yet another look/style that Buatsi can gain experience from.

The rest of the card is pretty decent, when you consider there is a world title bout as the co-main event. Neither Chantelle Cameron or Adriana Araujo have much draw, but the prospect of the vacant WBC World Female Super Lightweight Title makes this bout all the more tantalising. Big heavyweight nutter, Alen Babic, returns to the ring for more of his famed explosiveness and sloppiness in equal parts. There is also somewhat of a grudge match between prospect Aqib Fiaz and hardened journeyman Kane Baker.

Alen Babic? 'I saw things that I could exploit', says Tom Little | Boxing  News | Sky Sports
Alen Babic didn’t take long when blasting out the blown-up cruiserweight, Shawndell Winters, just two months ago. 22 August 2020.

Main Event

Light Heavyweight (175)

WBA International Light Heavyweight Title

Joshua Buatsi (12-0, 10KO) vs Marko Calic (11-0, 6KO)

Buatsi possesses one of the finest boxing brains across the wealth of current British fighters. Not blessed with the fastest feet in the world, Buatsi makes up for this with an elite distance management and timing of shots. On the front foot, Buatsi baits his opponents with a jab that prods the head and body, before unleashing a three-four shot combination that are body work-intensive. Buatsi is not a head-hunter, he is more than happy to slowly break down an opponent across the full allotted rounds. On the back foot, Buatsi hasn’t faced much-sustained pressure yet but he has rarely allowed himself to be backed onto the ropes. Exiting out of the side, Buatsi never makes the amateur mistake of moving back in a straight line, and often re-sets his feet to surge onto the front-foot from a different angle.

Marko Calic has taken many of his amateur mannerism with him into the professional ranks. Opening holes in his opponent’s guard, Calic employs a constant stream of feints to mask his intentions and keep his opponents guessing. Dropping his level is his favoured feint. Bending his lead knee and keeping his lead arm outstretched, Calic creates a barrier in case of his opposition lunging in. Calic doesn’t throw much volume though, and he will be in trouble if he is not willing to throw some leather to counter the offence of Buatsi.

Predicted Result: Buatsi TKO Round 7

A seven-round breakdown by the younger, fitter, more polished boxer. Calic will be difficult to read for the first couple of rounds, but Buatsi is savvy enough to read his game and exploit it.

Joshua Buatsi: 'One thing I won't allow is to be disrespected' - Boxing News
Joshua Buatsi lands a crisp uppercut on journeyman, Saidou Sall, back on 28 October 2017.

Result: Buatsi def. Calic // TKO Round 7 2:09

Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️

Co-Main Event

Super Lightweight (140)

vacant WBC World Female Super Lightweight Title

Chantelle Cameron (12-0, 7KO) vs Adriana dos Santos Araujo (6-0, 1KO)

Chantelle Cameron is most likely already a world level fighter, win or lose on Sunday night. Coming off of a ten round beatdown of the solid former world title holder, Anahi Ester Sanchez, Cameron looked incredible. Constantly moving forward, applying pressure in the clinch, and throwing a huge output. Whilst Cameron’s striking can be a bit sloppy at times, it is in a similar vein to Josh Warrington in that their hand speed will bail them out where others would fail hard with such a strategy. One issue that remains is Cameron’s rather suspect defence, using her feet to evade shots. A stronger guard will be required to prevent sustained punishment against the somewhat harder hitters at Super Lightweight, and more head movement is necessary when entering the pocket. Sanchez was able to tag Cameron far too often with her jab.

Araujo is a very limited, plodding fighter. More than happy to take one to give one, Araujo’s game is wholly based around her toughness and chin. Not blessed with the most power, Araujo makes life harder for herself as she fails to torque her hips into her shots. Araujo will be able to tag Cameron regularly due to her defensive shortcomings, but Araujo’s defence may potentially be worse. This fight will be ugly, but there should be a lot of action in terms of striking volume.

Predicted Result: Cameron Decision

Cameron has far superior fundamentals, and unless Araujo can find a hidden deposit of power, Cameron will out-strike and hustle her way to a deserved world title.

Chantelle Cameron appears ready to take on the world - Boxing News
Chantelle Cameron lands a powerful short shot on Anahi Ester Sanchez. 9 November 2019.

Result: Cameron def. Araujo // Decision (unanimous – 100-90, 100-90, 100-90)

Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️

Main Card

Middleweight (160)

English Middleweight Title

Linus Udofia (15-0, 7KO) vs John Harding Jr (8-1-1, 2KO)

Linus Udofia will be seeking to make his first defence of his English Middleweight title that he stole back in November 2019. Winning a very tight majority decision over Tyler Denny, Udofia will be looking to put to bed many of his doubters. Udofia looks like he hits a lot harder than he actually does, with a beautiful straight right that he often falls into. While a better opponent will expose the lunging straight right, at the domestic level, Udofia will be fine as he uses it as an exit out of the pocket.

Harding Jr. failed in his last real step-up in competition with a nip and tuck affair against Jack Cullen that ended ultimately in the eighth. Harding is slow to start, and can often settle into a sleep-like pace. He is a solid enough counterpuncher, but he will struggle to keep up with the pace that Udofia will set. Against Cullen, Harding Jr. was out on his feet after the opening rounds and survived the final two/three rounds on sheer heart alone.

Predicted Result: Udofia TKO Round 10

Udofia is a very solid fighter with a lot of learning yet to do, defending his English title is the best step in refining his tools for future development.

Result: Udofia def. Harding Jr // TKO Round 9 2:07

Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ❌

Heavyweight (200+)

Alen Babic (4-0, 4KO) vs Niall Kennedy (13-1-1, 8KO)

Alen Babic will come a cropper one of these days. I was certain that Shawndell Winters was a far superior boxer to Babic, but Babic’s power and tenacity proved me wrong. An all-offence style is perfect for a flash in the pan career at heavyweight, but looking for early stoppages against the big boys is also a fast-track way to increasing your pay cheque.

Niall Kennedy is an inside boxer who has been able to win a few regional US heavyweight titles. A split decision victory over Alexis Santos is a fantastic scalp. Kennedy turtles up when faced with danger and throws short, sharp combinations which end with an uppercut. Not the best on the backfoot, Kennedy was hit regularly with Santos’ jab, but his guard is primed to stop hooks.

Predicted Result: Babic TKO Round 2

If Kennedy can weather the early Babic storm, he may be able to punish the Croatian. Most likely, Babic will put Kennedy against the ropes and begin the onslaught.

Result: Babic def. Kennedy // TKO Round 3 0:34

Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ❌

Lightweight (135)

Aqib Fiaz (5-0) vs Kane Baker (13-6)

Aqib Fiaz is making his first step-up in the professional ranks as he faces his first live body. Fiaz is still trying to put together the pieces of a full offence, and has to bridge the gap between his regular jab and his lengthier combinations. An entertaining style, Fiaz also has a wealth of amateur experience with seventy bouts and a national youth title.

Kane Baker is a tough Lightweight gatekeeper. Blasted out by Connor Benn in two, Baker has since won the the Midlands Area title, and was unlucky to drop a majority decision to Myron Mills in his bid for the English title. Baker is tough, has a solid guard and an endurance that allows him to shine in the later rounds.

Predicted Result: Fiaz Decision

Fiaz’s athletic talent and sharper fundamentals will carry him through to a rather easy decision victory.

Result: Fiaz def. Baker // Decision (referee’s scorecard – 77-75)

Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️

Super Middleweight (168)

John Hedges (Debut) vs Jan Ardon (2-4)

John Hedges is yet another amateur prospect that Eddie Hearn has been able to snap up. Winning seven national titles, Hedges has an absolutely mammoth frame for the weight at 6’5″. It is hard to say whether Hedges will be comfortable regularly making weight at the 168lb limit, but good God, is he going to tower over the vast majority of his opposition.

Jan Ardon has only really fought prospects and has a mixed bag of results against them. He represents more of a challenge than many cans, and is happy to throw leather from the opening bell.

Predicted Result: Hedges Decision

Eddie Hearn is fast becoming the Jeff Bezos of the boxing world.

Result: Hedges def. Ardon // Decision (referee’s scorecard – 39-37)

Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️

Prediction Accuracy

Matchroom: Buatsi vs Calic

Winner: 6/6

Method: 6/6

Round: 4/6

2020 Boxing Season

Winner: 27/34

Method: 28/34

Round: 24/34

Takeaway comments: Chantelle Cameron battling it out with Katie Taylor is a pretty saucy prospect.

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