Conor Benn sees off Dobson as Joshua Buatsi inflicts first defeat on Dan Azeez
Britain’s Conor Benn dug deep for a hard-fought but unanimous points decision win against the previously unbeaten Peter Dobson in their welterweight bout in Las Vegas, while Joshua Buatsi won his WBA light-heavyweight championship final eliminator against Dan Azeez at Wembley Arena.
Benn, who is still banned from fighting in his home country, was on top early on in Nevada but was stymied by Dobson in the later stages of their fight. Nonetheless each judge scored the fight for Benn, who extended his unbeaten record to 23-0.
The 27-year-old Benn is determined to return to fighting in the UK but he does not hold a licence in Britain while he waits for the outcome of the British Boxing Board of Control’s appeal against the lifting of his provisional doping suspension by the National Anti-Doping Panel. Benn insists he is not guilty of intentionally doping after testing positive for the female fertility drug clomifene in 2022 and the appeal could be heard this month.
Meanwhile Buatsi showed signs of his best form at Wembley Arena as he beat Azeez, the British champion. The slick orthodox fighter handed Azeez his first professional defeat with a 116-110, 117-109, 117-109 points victory.
Buatsi attacked the body from minute one. The Croydon fighter was elusive, combining jabs and hooks to the frame of Azeez.
The bad blood from the buildup was on full show in the third round with the pair swinging in the centre and looking for an early stoppage. But Buatsi’s early body work began to pay off as openings in Azeez’s defence allowed him to let his hands go in an explosive fifth round.
Buatsi forced Azeez to fight at his rhythm late on as he began to win consistent rounds. Azeez was knocked down twice in round 11 which swung a definitive victory in Buatsi’s favour.