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Willy Hutchinson won a clear unanimous decision over Craig Richards on Saturday

Early last month, the WBO ordered Joshua Buatsi to meet Anthony Yarde for their interim light heavyweight title while Artur Beterbiev dealt with a busted meniscus. The 10-day negotiation deadline came and went without a peep, and with Yarde arguing with promoter Frank Warren over whether he’s a free agent, the WBO are now calling upon Willy Hutchinson to face Buatsi instead.

The two have the same 10-day deadline.

Hutchinson (18-1, 13 KO) was behind Albert Ramirez, Adam Deines, and Ali Izmailov in their May 20th rankings, but deserves a boost after last Saturday’s strong win over Craig Richards. He showed off some impressive offensive chops against his favored foe, and though he did fade late, he managed to grit his way through some hairy rounds to secure the unanimous decision.

Buatsi (15-0, 13 KO), last seen outclassing Dan Azeez in February, has proven himself the clear number one in Britain’s stacked domestic scene. A decisive win over Hutchinson would give him a strong claim towards being the best challenger for either Dmitry Bivol or Artur Beterbiev, with only the rising David Benavidez offering a comparable claim.

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