Willy Hutchinson set for interim WBO title clash with Joshua Buatsi after last-minute deal is struck

-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)

Willy Hutchinson appears to be one step closer to landing a world title shot after a deal to fight Joshua Buatsi for the interim WBO light heavyweight title was agreed at the last minute.

After his superb points victory against Craig Richards in Saudi Arabia on June 1, the Scottish boxing star was ordered by the World Boxing Organisation (WBO) to face unbeaten Englishman Buatsi for the interim strap, with Russian powerhouse Artur Beterbiev holding the full title. Hutchinson has won 18 of his 19 professional bouts, suffering his only defeat against Lennox Clarke in a tilt for the British and Commonwealth super-middleweight titles back in 2021, but has bounced back with five victories on the spin after moving up in weight.

However, that match-up then looked to be off the cards when two-time British champion Buatsi confirmed his intention to take on long-time rival Anthony Yarde in a huge domestic dust-up instead of a bout with Carstairs boxer Hutchinson. But according to Ring Magazine's senior writer Jake Donovan, Hutchinson and Buatsi's representatives have been able to thrash out a deal to put the fight on just hours before it went to purse bids.

No date and location has been set for the showdown, but the winner of the fight will earn a shot at the full title later this year. Beterbiev currently holds the belt and was due to put it on the line in a huge undisputed light heavyweight world title clash with Dimitry Bivol earlier this month - but had to pull out of the bout just weeks before the event after rupturing his meniscus in training.

That highly anticipated match-up is expected to take place before the end of 2024, with Saudi Arabian Chairman of the General Entertainment Authority and boxing powerbroker Turki Al-Sheikh keen to continue bringing the best fights in boxing to the Middle East. The likes of Tyson Fury, Oleksandr Usyk, Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder have all featured on stellar bills in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the past eight months.