Anthony Joshua’s professional boxing career is at an early stage - he only turned professional in 2013 - but he’s already decided to take a young prospect under his wing.
The IBF, WBA (Super) and IBO heavyweight champion will manage Joshua Butatsi, who won a bronze medal at the Olympic Games in Rio last year and has today turned professional.
Buatsi, a light-heavyweight, signed with Matchroom Boxing and will share the same promoter as Joshua, Eddie Hearn.
The 24-year-old will make his debut on July 1 at the O2 Arena. He’s expected to have eight fights in total in 2017.
Hearn is confident that Buatsi can live up to the pressure that comes with being associated with Joshua.
"We have an outstanding talent in Joshua Buatsi," he said, per BBC Sport. "He'll be on all our major shows and we will push him to the top."
Buatsi: 'Everything for me now is boxing'
Buatsi will make his debut on the undercard of Frank Buglioni’s British light-heavyweight title defence against Ricky Summers.
"It's the right move for me," the 2015 European Championship bronze medalist said. "My parents drummed into me about finishing my education. After Brazil I had a year left.
"Everything for me now is boxing. There's competition out there. We're all hungry. It's a brutal sport but I'm ready."
Fellow Olympians Joe Cordina, Lawrence Okolie, Anthony Fowler and Josh Kelly are also turning professional.
Buatsi didn't expect a medal in Rio
Buatsi earned a bronze medal at the Rio games after losing to Kazakhstan’s Adilbek Niyazymbetov on points in the semi-final.
The Brit didn’t even expect to get on the podium at Rio. Now, less than one year later, he’s a professional.
That’s some rise.
"I'm disappointed but a bronze medal surpasses all expectations," Buatsi said after the loss, per BBC Sport.
"Once I got here and I was winning, I was aiming for gold and nothing else, but coming out no-one expected a medal. I did the hard work and I gave it my best shot."
Watch Buatsi in action
Check out some of Buatsi's highlights below.
How far can Buatsi go? Let us know in the comments section below!
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