By Charles Brun: Dan Azeez has suffered a back injury, resulting in his light heavyweight clash against fellow Brit Joshua Buatsi being postponed for this Saturday night on October 21st at the O2 Arena in London.
The 33-year-old Azeez’s back injury occurred during his final training session. It’s unclear what he did to injure his back, as normally fighters take it easy during the week of the fight, doing mainly light training.
Rumors of poor ticket sales
There are rumors on social media that the Azeez-Buatsi fight was postponed due to poor ticket sales. If the fight wasn’t selling, it’s a good idea to move it to another date.
You can argue that it’s just kicking the problem down the road because it’s not a high-level fight that would attract a huge audience. Azeez vs. Buatsi is a good fight, but it’s more an of undercard-level match-up than a main event because neither of these guys is particularly popular.
If it’s a poor ticket sales problem, the promoters for the event need to package a good undercard to attract boxing fans to want to go see the fight when it’s rescheduled.
In a perfect world, they’ll substitute a different headline attraction in place of the Buatsi-Azeez fight, and stow this albatross away on an undercard, perhaps in a co-feature or third from the top spot. That might be the best solution to the problem.
Buatsi & Azeez are ranked #1 & 2 in the World Boxing Association’s rankings at 175, but according to Eddie Hearn, neither of them wanted to challenge for a world title against champion Dmitry Bivol.
If they don’t want to fight for a world title, what is their career goal? Is it just to face other contenders, and wait & hoping that Bivol and IBF, WBC & WBO champion Artur Beterbiev will get old & go away?
Beterbiev is 38 years old, so the 30-year-old Buatsi & 33-year-old Azeez can wait him out, but it’s probably not going to work with the 32-year-old Bivol. He’s roughly their age and will be around for a long time.
“I am devastated that this has happened during fight week,” said Azeez. “It still hasn’t sunk in. I have never had to withdraw from a fight in my career before. I want to apologize to all the fans, especially those who were traveling to the fight.
“I am also extremely sorry to my opponent, Joshua Buatsi, my promoter, and everyone who has worked so hard for this date. I hope this fight can be rescheduled as soon as possible.”