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Joshua Buatsi tells Craig Richards he will ‘pay the price’ for his gruelling training camp in California and warns he will ‘flick the switch’ in their grudge match… but ‘Spider’ insists he has the ‘tools’ to stop his unbeaten rival

Joshua Buatsi will face off against British rival Craig Richards on Saturday night 
The light heavyweight star vowed to ‘flick a switch’ when he gets in the ring 
He spoke of his tough camp in the USA and said Richards will ‘pay the price’
Richards, however, insists he is the best fighter in the light-heavyweight division 

By Oli Gamp For Mailonline
Published: 14:19 BST, 19 May 2022 | Updated: 14:20 BST, 19 May 2022
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Joshua Buatsi warned rival Craig Richards he will ‘pay the price’ for his gruelling training camp in California and vowed to ‘flick the switch’ when the pair face off at the 02 Arena this Saturday night. 
Buatsi puts his flawless record on the line against ‘Spider’ in their British showdown after 15 straight victories and faces arguably the toughest fight of his career so far – while Richards comes into this having taken world champion Dmitri Bivol the distance last year.
This bout has been billed as ‘The Battle of South London’, with both men growing up in Croydon and Crystal Palace, and it’s one Buatsi has been taking seriously after months of being put through his paces by trainer Virgil Hunter in the United States.

Joshua Buatsi warned Craig Richards he will ‘pay the price’ for a tough camp on Saturday night

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Buatsi (L) comes into the fight as the favourite against Richards (R) after an unbeaten career

Now he insists Richards will ‘pay the price’ for the hard work and dedication he put in during his camp 
‘The struggle during camp – I know how I want to perform and it’s time to show it,’ he said at the final press conference.

‘Camp was hard and someone else has to pay that price now. If my camp were to be based in Brazil, I’d be there for five months. The way life is now, I go anywhere I need to be to improve. It happened to be in California so thats where I was. Wherever I have to be, that’s where I will be.’
Buatsi and Richards faced off during a tense chat filmed by DAZN this week, where the latter warned his rival: ‘Your ego is your downfall.’

Tensions grew among the two fighters after Richards told Buatsi: ‘Your ego is your downfall’

Buatsi vowed to ‘flick the switch’ at the 02 Arena as he looks to extend his impressive record 

Buatsi stressed that every professional boxer has an ego and said he would beat Richards after he ‘flicks the switch’. 
‘Theres always people to prove wrong,’ he added. ‘Spider says what he wants to say, but we’re two days away from the fight, so talking is done. We’ll find out on saturday. The switch hasnt flicked yet, but we’re days away and the switch will definitely flick. 
‘Every boxer has an ego. No one wants to lose. I win by being myself. You can look at the stats, and say “this is what he usually does”. But I am gonna bring it and that’s how I fight. If I can take him out, I will.’
Richards insists he meant no disrespect over his ‘ego’ remarks and believes he is the ‘best fighter in the division’ who has the ‘tools’ to hand Buatsi his first loss. 

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‘I’m a character who says what I want to say, when I want. I wasn’t being rude, I just said my opinion. That’s how I felt, I voiced my opinion. It wasnt disrespecting his amateur career.

Richards insists he is the best fighter in the light heavyweight division and has the ‘tools’ to give him his first ever loss in boxing

‘It’s not personal to Josh – I just believe I’m the best in the division. I can adapt to fighters and I have the IQ and the ability. Whatever tool I need from the toolbox, I will use it to get it done. I have the ability to beat anyone. 
‘I do believe I will be victorious or I wouldn’t be here,’ he said. ‘All the fights I’ve taken put me in good stead, learning week in week out, and I can show what I’m learning and how good I am.’

Richards impressed during his points loss to Russian star Bivol – who dominated pound-for-pound king Canelo Alvarez earlier this month. He claims he ‘didn’t go through his gears’ and could have had a better result after losing by just one round. 
‘The most disappointing thing about that fight was I didn’t get to go through my gears and judged the rounds wrong. To come out after 12 rounds knowing you’ve still got four rounds left in you is annoying, when I was only one round down. I’ve had a good fight comeback, got the stoppage [last time out] and I’m pushing on since then. I’ll show what I’m about on May 21.
‘I have the tools to take him out. We will see if it happens on Saturday night.’

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