THE RESULT: In the end, Joshua Buatsi clinched this long-awaited south London derby and the British and Commonwealth titles reasonably comfortably on the cards. Marcus McDonnell scored it 116-110 in Buatsi’s favour while both Howard Foster and Michael Alexander had him a wider winner at 117-109 to cement this unanimous decision.
KEY MOMENTS: There was competitive action throughout all 12 rounds with a number of extreme flash points. However the result was essentially secured during the 11th round when Azeez was floored twice. The Lewisham man insisted that both were a result of the slippery canvas but there is no doubting he had been legitimately hit in the first place. He then did very well to hang tough during a brutal 12th round.
RECORDS: Buatsi stays undefeated and moves to 18-0 with 13 KOs while Azeez is now 20-1 (13) after suffering this the first defeat of his career.
TALKING POINT: The slippery canvas emerged as a problem during the eighth and was routinely wiped between rounds but it seemed to play a big part for both men, who were regularly losing their footing during the second half of the fight. Azeez was adamant it played a part for both knockdowns so would this fight have panned out differently down the stretch on a different, dryer canvas?
QUOTABLE: The victor Buatsi said: “I’m not happy to be taking his belts all I wanted was the No.1 slot. It was a pleasure to share the ring with Dan. Our pride was on the line here, Dan made me fight for every second.”
Azeez said: “I guess he was the better man today. He came and performed. He’s a great athlete and I respect him a lot. He has helped me a lot. It was just business today. We will see what the future holds. He’s won tonight and he deserves what comes next for him.”
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT: Azeez, now without his British and Commonwealth titles, will likely drop down to domestic level where a number of big names like Craig Richards and Lyndon Arthur could provide very good fights for him to come back to. It is likely that Callum Smith and Anthony Yarde will fight each other this summer so it probably would not be either of them. For Buatsi, he will now wait to see who wins between Artur Beterbiev and Dmitrii Bivol in Saudi Arabia on June 1 and then hope to set up a shot at the winner.