On December 10th, Frank Buglioni (18-2-1, 14 KOs) faces off against Hosea Burton for the British light-heavyweight title on December 10. The fight was previously set to take place on September 24th earlier this year but was delayed due to a cut sustained by Buglioni in sparring. Now fully focused and training for the fight of his life, ‘The Wise Guy’ spoke with BritishBoxers about how things are going.
“I haven’t been out of the gym,” he said. “I couldn’t spar or fight, but that didn’t stop me training. I’m dedicated, I live the life, so there was no way they were gonna catch me out or spring a date on me. I was ready for anything and now that it’s come, I can put the work that I’ve done into practice.”
Buglioni had an unsuccessful shot at a world title last year, when he fought Fedor Chudinov for the WBA World Super middleweight, but despite losing via decision, he proved that he can mix it at the highest level and certainly has the heart to go a long way in this game.
‘I was too big for Super middle, I was huge there and getting down to it was only possible because of how clean I live, and how hard I train. But, because I can make it, doesn’t mean that I should be making it.’
Following the defeat, Buglioni regrouped and heeded the advice of then trainers Steve and Pascal Collins and made the jump to 175lbs. Burton has previously remarked that he feels his opponent on the night is too small to really compete at the weight, but Frank quickly ridiculed those claims.
“Anyone that thinks I’m a small light heavy is going to find out the hard way when they get in there against me,” he explained. “I was too big for Super middle, I was huge there and getting down to it was only possible because of how clean I live, and how hard I train. But, because I can make it, doesn’t mean that I should be making it.
“I’ve got to respect Steve and Pascal Collins as they had the experience and did say to me that super middle is just draining me a little bit too much.”
He did go on to clarify that although they suggested he made the jump following the Lee Markham (D 12) fight, a shot at world honours was just too good of an opportunity to turn down, and so they gave it one more go.
After the Chudinov bout, Buglioni elected to change his training team, and decided he would be better suited training again closer to home in London. Back at home, he has linked up with Don Charles and he feels the move is working well.
“Ireland was a great experience, I learnt a hell of a lot there, but the travelling takes its toll, getting the sparring partners out there with the expenses adds up, so doing it back at home now gives me a bit more freedom.”
Talking of sparring, he said there were more advantages to being back in London. “Now that I’m up at light-heavy, there’s a lot of sparring out here at Super middle, light-Heavy and up at cruiser. I was mixing it with George Groves, there’s a lot of strength in depth in London. Don Charles is a top trainer, and I’m very pleased with the move and how I’ve adjusted.”
The postponement has given Buglioni and Charles more time to work together, and the bond between trainer and fighter will surely be growing ever stronger by the day. I questioned as to whether he felt the extended date could work in his favour. “I’m gonna surprise a lot of people, and I’m looking forward to doing it on a big stage,” he replied. A slot on an Anthony Joshua PPV is almost certainly the biggest platform in British Boxing today.
‘I’ve got the beating of him (Burton), but I want to do it in style and give him the hardest fight of his career. I think it matches up for a war, I’ve got to nullify his reach and drag him into the trenches, and that’s what I aim to do.’
Although confident, the popular London fighter advised me that he’s certainly not taking Burton lightly, he said: “Burton is a good fighter, but I’m training like he’s a world champion.
“I’ve got the beating of him, but I want to do it in style and give him the hardest fight of his career. I think it matches up for a war, I’ve got to nullify his reach and drag him into the trenches, and that’s what I aim to do.”
Burton is just another name on the list of tough opponents that Buglioni has been faced with recently, having had a war (and fight of the year candidate) with Markham and then a hard outing against Chudinov; Hosea Burton is just another big fight that he can sink his teeth into.
“I think the telling factor against Burton will be that I’ve mixed it at a higher level, and a lot of people are forgetting that,” he told me, before recalling his fight with Chudinov.
“Obviously, I was unsuccessful in my title attempt, but let’s not forget we are talking about Chudinov, who’s someone that you don’t see any of the top-quality fighters calling him out. I stuck in there for 12 rounds, got my tactics slightly wrong and I was a bit drained at the weight but I certainly didn’t let myself down, and I’m a different animal now I’m at light heavy.”
As fashionable as it seems to be in modern boxing, don’t expect much trash talking coming from the side of Buglioni before the pair face off. I asked why he never seemed to engage in those kind of antics before a fight.
“I respect the sport of boxing and anyone that has the heart to be part of it as it’s a really tough game,” he answered. “But when it comes to the fight there’s no question that I’m in there to hurt people. I respect all of them and that’s really what drives me on when it comes to fight night. I’m in there to do damage, have no doubt about that.”
With the card filling up and a number of great fights to be expected on December 10th, don’t be shocked if this bout winds up being the best of the bunch. Hopefully we are treated to the war that Buglioni mentioned, and it’ll be refreshing to enjoy a fight that doesn’t come with the bright lights of a manufactured rivalry beforehand, and instead we witness a fight in which both fighters will let their fists do the talking.