DiBella outbids Matchroom, secures rights to Buatsi vs Pascal final eliminator


Things have not been going well for Eddie Hearn of late vis-à-vis light heavyweight contender Joshua Buatsi. First, the WBA smacked down Hearn’s attempt to have Buatsi leapfrog Zurdo Ramirez for a crack at Dmitry Bivol, forcing Matchroom to focus instead on an ordered IBF eliminator against Jean Pascal. Then, earlier today, DiBella Entertainment outbid Hearn by $100,000 for the rights to that fight, which Dan Rafael reports could land on BT Sport.

DiBella has a couple options as far as location; Buatsi (16-0, 13 KO) can obviously sell some tickets in the UK, but Pascal (36-6-1, 20 KO), last seen upsetting Meng Fanlong, remains a draw in his native Canada despite everything.

This is all assuming Buatsi takes the fight, of course. He’s in every sanctioning body’s top three, so it wouldn’t take him a long time to secure a title shot elsewhere, and he could probably use a bit more seasoning before squaring off with a monster like Artur Beterbiev. Plus, the logjam of mandatories means the timeframe for actually challenging for a belt may not change much.

That said, he’s got the tools to make this Pascal’s last hurrah, so let’s wait and see how this plays out.

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