Monday, 15 August 2016
Floyd Mayweather is on a scouting mission to sniff out boxing talent at the Rio Olympics — and apparently believes he has found a future world champion in Britain’s knock-out sensation Joshua Buatsi.
Mayweather, now a promoter with a growing stable of boxers, was not in the crowd to see light-heavyweight Buatsi seal at least bronze with another virtuoso performance to reinforce his reputation as the most exciting fighter to emerge in Brazil.
But the pair met on Saturday and Mayweather, 39, who retired last year after going 49-0, had some words of strong encouragement.
“He just said, ‘You’re a great fighter, I’ve heard of you before I got here’, and he said that I was a future world champion,” Buatsi, 23, revealed.
“It was good to hear that from someone like Mayweather, who is the greatest boxer of our generation that I’ve seen personally, so it was good to hear that from the champion.”
Buatsi, who now faces London 2012 silver medallist Adilbek Niyazymbetov of Kazakhstan in Tuesday’s semi-final, did not put his latest victim down for a third knock-out on the trot in Rio.
But he had Abdelhafid Benchabla in trouble in the first round and in the second, but somehow the Algerian managed to hold on after the referee took two standing counts.
At one point in the third round, Buatsi stopped to allow Benchabla to hit him freely a couple of times in the face, underlining the Briton’s towering advantage.
“I wanted to let them know that I am in there and dominating and hitting them doesn’t necessarily mean that I can’t take it. You can entertain a little bit and then go back to the boxing,” said Buatsi.
“I’m glad to have put on a bit of a show and secure bronze at least.”
The American Mayweather first appeared in the Rio crowd — with a large entourage surrounding him — on Saturday and then made another fleeting appearance on Sunday evening.
Mayweather, who won bronze at the 1996 Atlanta Games, has made no secret of what he is doing in Rio, tweeting: “At the Olympics scouting future boxing champions.”
He believes he has already found one in the Ghanaian-born Buatsi.
Source by: AFP