Edwards vs Moreno: Anthony Joshua hails Joshua Buatsi as 'a world champion of the future'

21 March 2019, 16:44 | Updated: 22 March 2019, 05:57

Anthony Joshua has hailed Joshua Buatsi as "a world champion of the future" ahead of his British light-heavyweight title fight with Liam Conroy at the Copper Box Arena.

The unbeaten 26-year-old targets the vacant Lonsdale belt in his 10th fight on the undercard as Charlie Edwards defends his WBC flyweight title against Angel Moreno on Saturday night, live on Sky Sports.

Joshua's management team guide the career of Buatsi, a bronze medallist at the Rio 2016 games, and the unified heavyweight champion believes his protégé has the right mindset to reach the highest level.

"I always look at people outside of the ring," Joshua told Sky Sports. "Buatsi, a devoted man to his religion, well educated, so I think his star quality is his devotion to the sport, and how intelligent he is. He mixes that devotion with his intelligence and he puts it into the ring.

"He's very smart, he's graduated in university, and he's a graduate in amateur boxing. Went to the Olympics, captured bronze, and he's going to become a world champion of the future."

In only his 16th fight, Joshua moved up to world class, defeating Charles Martin to win the IBF title, and makes his next defence against Jarrell Miller at Madison Square Garden on June 1, live on Sky Sports Box Office.

Buatsi is part of a fiercely competitive weight class, featuring champions such as Dmitry Bivol and Artur Beterbiev, and Joshua hopes the rising contender will be allowed more time to sharpen his impressive skills.

"Developing fights are key, but in business that's so big, and so much pressure," said Joshua.

"Whether they give him enough time to grow, I'm not the one to answer that, but I believe he has so much unlocked potential still, that they can tap into.

"I just don't want him to cross over to championship level too soon, because there's no coming back.

"Once you cross over to championship level, you have to fight at that elite level, and those fights aren't about learning about anything, they are just tough, and also you know what it's about.

"If they can just keep building him, progressing him, it's hard to keep him under the radar now, but getting the right fights at the right time."

Watch Charlie Edwards defend WBC title against Angel Moreno, with Joshua Buatsi and Lawrence Okolie also on the Copper Box Arena bill, on Saturday, from 7pm on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Action.