Joshua Buatsi has revealed he turned down the chance to sign a contract with Floyd Mayweather so he could stay in London and finish his degree.
The Ghanaian-born light heavyweight had enrolled on a sports science course at St Mary’s University in Twickenham and was combining his studies with boxing training.
His dedication paid off as he was awarded a place in the 2016 GB squad to travel to the Rio Olympics where he won a bronze medal.
While there, the 25-year-old spotted Floyd Mayweather and despite being heavily protected, Buatsi was determined to get a picture with the undefeated legend.
“I just had to get a picture with him,” Buatsi says, recalling Mayweather walking through the Olympic centre behind a wall of thickset bodyguards.
“I approached the security team and they were like nope, but the guy who was walking with Mayweather was like ‘nah, nah, let him in’, Buatsi said in an interview with The Independent.
“I was telling him that I’m Joshua Buatsi, that I’d had two fights so far in the Olympics, won by knockout in both, and then he goes ‘don’t worry, I’ve heard about you’.
“He said he’d watched a few of my fights and that he’d travelled from America just to come and see me. In my head it was like ‘mate, you’re talking absolute rubbish. You didn’t come here just to watch me,’ but it was still an amazing experience.”
Eleven months after rejecting an offer from Mayweather Promotions, Buatsi graduated with a 2:1 and kept with his mum’s wishes.
Eventually, Buatsi signed a deal with Eddie Hearn to join up with his Matchroom Boxing stable and has made a perfect start to his professional career, winning all eight of his fights to date.
On Saturday, he will face former IBO super-middleweight champion Renold Quinlan on the undercard of the Dillian Whyte v Dereck Chisora rematch.
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