Light-heavyweight contender Joshua Buatsi has denied moving to Boxxer to land a fight with Dan Azeez.

At a press conference in March it was announced that Buatsi would be fighting on Sky Sports once again after he and promoter Eddie Hearn parted ways following a six-year association.

This Saturday the unbeaten 30-year-old makes his debut for Ben Shalom when he faces Pawel Stepien in Birmingham. A win for Buatsi could bring him closer to a fight against stablemate and European light-heavyweight champion Dan Azeez.

“The move coming to Sky wasn’t to fight Dan Azeez. It’s a fight that’s available because yes, he is promoted by the same promoter but that wasn’t a driving point,” he told Sky Sports.

“I don’t think me coming to Sky means these fights can’t happen, me and any of the other light-heavies.

“He’s won all the belts up to European level, he’s number one in Europe. He is a good fighter. So, I think when we mention Dan Azeez, whether other people want to give him credit or not he is a top 10 opponent.”

Another light-heavyweight that Buatsi has been continuously linked to is Anthony Yarde. The two Londoners have shared many column inches together but sadly never a ring for fans to see. The pair have 42 fights between them but Yarde currently has the upper hand in professional experience having fought Sergey Kovalev and earlier this year champion Artur Beterbiev.

“He showed bags of heart, bags and bags of heart,” Buatsi said of Yarde’s performance.

“I’ll only concentrate on the heart because I think he showed it in abundance. Because there were times when he was badly hurt but the guy wants to carry on and fair play to him. He fought back, he fought back, he tried.

“At the end of the day he has fought for a world title twice and I haven’t. I know he was stopped in both of them, but he gave a good account of himself.”