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Everything you need to know about Croydon’s new Olympic hero Joshua Buatsi

Everything you need to know about Croydon’s new Olympic hero Joshua Buatsi
Aug 12, 2016 Shaking Hands 0 comments
This post was first published on The Croydon Advertiser on 12/08/2016

Everything you need to know about Croydon’s new Olympic hero Joshua Buatsi

Croydon’s new Olympic hero Joshua Buatsi produced a stunning upset to knockout one of the top seeds in the boxing yesterday and is now just one win away from winning a medal.

The light heavyweight boxer admitted he even surprised himself with his victory to make it through to the quarter finals in Rio and hopes it will give the rest of Team GB’s boxers a much-needed “boost”.

The 23-year-old’s sudden rise to prominence means many people will be wanting to find out more about him and when they can cheer him on next. Hopefully we can help.

What are Buatsi’s links to Croydon?

He moved to Croydon from Ghana aged nine and grew up on the Shrublands estate in Shirley.

Buatsi attended Edenham High School, in Orchard Way, Shirley, from 2004 to 2009. Another famous alumni is X Factor winner Ben Haenow.

He joined South Norwood and Victory Boxing Club, in Charnwood Road, aged 15 and he still works with his original trainers Terry Smith and Mark Gillespie.

What boxing experience does Buatsi have?

Buatsi came to prominence in 2014 when he won the England Boxing National Championships.

This victory helped him to secure a place in the GB Boxing squad and he went on to establish his status as the country’s best light-heavyweight by winning the national title again in 2015.

Buatsi made his international debut for GB Boxing in 2014 and in 2015 he won his first major medal when he secured bronze at the 2015 European Championships in Samokov, in Bulgaria.

He represented the British Lionhearts in the 2015 and 2016 seasons of the World Series Boxing and in April 2016 he qualified for Rio when he won gold at the European Continental Qualifier in Samsun, Turkey.

When is his next fight?

Buatsi takes on Abdelhafid Benchabla in the quarter final of the light heavyweight (81kg) category at 11.45pm on Sunday (August 14).

The 29-year-old Algerian had a bye in the first round and in the last 16 he beat Ramon Albert Ramirez from Venezuala on points.

What are his chances of winning a medal?

Buatsi said he was targeting “nothing less than gold” after confirming his place on the plane to Rio in April and he is just one victory away from guaranteeing himself at least a bronze.

This is because the two losing semi-finalists will both receive bronze medals.

Joshua Buatsi caused a big upset on Thursday at the OlympicsBuatsi knocked out third seed Elshod Rasulov of Uzbekistan in a powerful performance on Thursday.

The 23-year-old Team GB fighter took on Rasulov, 30, after breezing past Kennedy Katende in his opening match on Sunday.

In his bout with Katende, Buatsi forced the first stoppage of the Olympics, defeating the Ugandan in the third round.

And Thursday’s clash with Rasulov saw Buatsi go toe to toe with his much-fancied opponent throughout the bout, before landing a powerful right hook in the final round to stop the Uzbekistani fighter.

Should we be expecting epic bouts like Mike Tyson v Lennox Lewis?

Each fight consists of three, three-minute rounds, instead of the 12 rounds that professional contests can go to.

The competition has a straight knockout format, with three judges deciding the winner of each bout if both fighters are still standing at the end of the three rounds.

Any other facts we should know about Buatsi?

He is student at St Mary’s University, in London, where he is over two years into a degree in management and sport science. He has taken time out to concentrate on boxing and expects to complete his studies after the Olympics.

Are there any other Olympic hopefuls from Croydon to watch out for?

Martyn Rooney is taking part in this third Olympics and he will run in the first round of the 400m at 1.05am on Saturday (August 13).

Rooney, who won gold at the European Championships, is also a member of the 4x400m relay squad.

Sprinter James Dasaolu, who was crowned British Champion in June with a time of 9.93 seconds, will be running in the 100m and also the 4x100m relay.

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