Boxing fans and pundits alike often wonder how you guarantee a great fight. Sure, you can make fifty-fifty match-ups, but top-level ones are often tactical affairs and the hype often makes it impossible for them to deliver. You can generate a grudge, an edge, and hope for the best yet more often than not the fighters burn themselves out before they get the ring and produce tepid affairs.
We are talking in generalities here, there are exceptions to the rules, but, give and take a few duds, if you put the British title on the line one or both men will dredge up unseen or untapped reserves of energy and desire to turn things on their head and produce one of those fights that become enshrined in our memory.
Going into the latter stages of his British light-heavyweight title challenge to Manchester’s Hosea Burton, Londoner Frank Buglioni’s handsome countenance had been hidden under rivulets of blood courtesy of a cut over the left eye and a Mars Bar over the nose.
The two boxers had both had moments of success in the fight, but the general feeling was the Burton was landing the cleaner shots on the move and was ahead in the fight.
Buglioni, though, had gathered momentum and floored his man heavily in the penultimate round. Smelling blood in the water, the 27-year-old poured it on in the final stanza to grab a memorable victory away from home. Referee Michael Alexander called it at 1:56 of the session.
“I’ve been working hard now for five years and I’ve finally got the British title, I’m thrilled to win,” said Buglioni when speaking to Sky Sports.
“I dug deep, took the win and grinded it out. Our tactic was to make him work for three minutes of every round, that’s what I did. Full credit to Hosea Burton, he showed tremendous heart and skills. Deep down, I knew he was a tough, strong boy who was in there until the end.”
Burton (18-1, 9 KOs) was taken straight to the dressing room, where he shed a few tears while being comforted by friends and family. However, the 28-year-old can come again, defeat is not the end, he only has to look at Buglioni, now 19-2-1 (15), to see that you can pick yourself up, as the former Champion did twice tonight, and come again.
The winner now has a few options. New trainer Don Charles will want more time to instill better head movement in Buglioni to the point where it is a reflex, rather than something he has to remember to do, and they may decide to consider other avenues before entertaining a rematch. One thing is for sure, a return would be another tough fight for the “Wise Guy”—his face has yet to meet a punch it doesn’t like.
As for the British title, it may not get to go out as often as it did in its pomp, but if you match two good boxers for that famous Lord Lonsdale belt then good, sometimes great, fights will come, so let’s hope it has a far more active 2017.