Joshua Buatsi fears if Arsenal hero Henry has been forced off social media due to racist abuse others don't have chance

JOSH BUATSI fears if Arsenal legend Thierry Henry has been forced off of social media by racist abuse then most other black sportspeople don’t stand a chance.

The Ghana-born South Londoner boldly took the knee before his thrilling October win over Marko Calic to fight against racial injustice.

But after spending eight weeks in San Francisco training with new trainer Virgil Hunter, he has returned to an almost identical landscape and learned Gunners icon Henry quit social media all together.

Ahead of Saturday’s Manchester match-up with undefeated Daniel Dos Santos, the 13-0 Rio 2016 bronze winner said: “I don’t think things have really improved but, when we talk about the sport of boxing, I personally have never experienced any racism in professional boxing.

“Internationally, in the amateurs, yes a few times in different countries but in [pro] boxing I have not.

“In the world now, are things changing? No, I think things are still the same.

“I can understand why certain Premier League footballers are saying ‘forget getting the knee, no changes are being made whatsoever’. I can see that.

"When I was in America I think I read that Thierry Henry has quit social media totally, he is just not up for it. 

“He was a really good footballer so if people like him are experiencing it, then who knows what other people are experiencing?

“I haven’t thought about taking the knee for this fight yet, we will see.”

Buatsi’s last bout went from lockdown learning fight to life-and-death battle when he had a gruesome swelling punched into his left eye.

The Anthony Joshua-managed ace thankfully secured a seventh round stoppage and quickly set out handing over the reigns of his career to the revered American trainer.

Hunter guided the brilliant Andre Ward through a perfect 32-0 career – with world titles in Buatsi’s light-heavy division and the super-middle ranks – so the Brit is blessed to put his world title plans in the mastermind’s hands.

He said: “How many fights away am I from a world title shot? It’s a conversation like this that I have with Virgil. 

“Because as the fighter, I’m like, ‘Virgil, let’s fight, let’s fight’.

“But the coaches and those who have gone ahead of you before will have a better idea. 

“They will be like, ‘You know what, for one or two fights, fight this type of opponent or that, X, Y or Z, and then we’ll take it’.

“There was a good opponent we were going to have for this fight and we okayed it but there were visa issues that stopped it from happening. 

“But Virgil just said, ‘Look, this is the first fight, take a manageable fight, let the style and teamwork gel a bit better and then we go from there’. I said, ‘Cool, that’s fine’”.

Incredibly the university-educated ace is happy to have ditched San Francisco and returned to the UK for May.

The 28-year-old prefers the suburbs of South London to California’s famous bay, iconic Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz attraction.

“San Fran was good and obviously the weather is better over there but I have to put it out there that I prefer England to America any day of the week,” he laughed.


“The training was good, very different to how the Europeans in general train. In Europe we have a structure we follow, theirs is a bit different.

“The running is different, in San Fran there are a lot of hills so the running was quite hard.

“But this is what I need to add to what I’m doing to get to where I need to get to.”

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