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Khalil Coe: I Wanna Face Guys Like Buatsi, Yarde, Craig Richards; Have No Problem Proving Myself

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Khalil Coe’s knockout of a previously unbeaten power puncher has helped convince Coe that he is more than ready to fight a legitimate light heavyweight contender next.

The undefeated Jersey City, New Jersey native mentioned three British veterans that he would like to test himself against now that the decorated amateur has beaten Gerardo Osuna. Coe (8-0-1, 6 KOs) sent Mexico’s Osuna (20-1, 18 KOs) to the canvas three times before their scheduled eight-round bout was stopped in the second round Saturday on the Conor Benn-Peter Dobson undercard at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

“I wanna face guys like [Joshua] Buatsi and [Anthony] Yarde and Craig Richards,” Coe told BoxingScene.com. “I wanna be in those types of fights. I wanna become a household name by the end of the year. I feel like I deserve it and I feel like I can make it happen.”

London’s Buatsi beat British contemporary Dan Azeez by unanimous decision in their 12-round main event Saturday night at OVO Arena Wembley in London. That impressive victory by Buatsi (18-0, 13 KOs), who dropped Azeez (20-1, 13 KOs) twice in the 11th round, moved the 2016 Olympian closer toward a 175-pound title shot, which makes Coe an unlikely opponent for him later this year.

Yarde (24-3, 23 KOs) and Richards (17-3-1, 10 KOs) could be more realistic targets for the ambitious Coe.

Ilford’s Yarde, a two-time world championship challenger, has talked about boxing Liverpool’s Callum Smith (29-2, 21 KOs) since unbeaten IBF/WBC/WBO 175-pound champ Artur Beterbiev (20-0, 20 KOs) knocked out Smith in the seventh round of their January 13 bout at Videotron Centre in Quebec City, Canada. The 32-year-old Yarde is scheduled to box Serbia’s Marko Nikolic (32-3, 12 KOs) in a 10-round bout Yarde is heavily favored to win Saturday at Copper Box Arena in London.

Yarde is represented by Hearn’s rival promoter, Frank Warren, but Hearn and Warren have been brought together by Saudi Arabia’s Turki Alalshikh for the sake of doing boxing business.

Richards, like Coe, is promoted by Hearn’s company. The London native hasn’t fought, though, since he lost a 12-round unanimous decision to Buatsi in May 2022 at O2 Arena in London.

Whichever contender is willing to fight him, Coe is eager to face top competition in just his 10th professional fight.

“I feel like right now I’m proving myself, which every fighter should, and I have no problem with that,” Coe said. “I’m gonna sit down, talk to the team and see what [Hearn] has in mind for us, what are the plans that we have, and we’ll make something happen.”

Coe, 27, has won seven consecutive fights since he regrettably boxed to a four-round majority draw with Aaron Casper (then 6-4-1) in November 2021 at SNHU Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire. Each of his last four wins came by knockout, and Coe considers activity crucial to reaching his potential.

“That’s the goal [in 2024], to get in at least four fights,” Coe said. “I had four last year. I’m trying to stay as active as possible. I feel like I’m at my best when I’m active. So, we just go from there, keep building and building.”

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

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