When London met Italy…
Much was made of the Italian connection between the two fighters before the fight; Frank’s heritage is from Naples, as is Nespros’, and the Italian brought with him an impressive record having shared the ring with the some of the worlds best middleweights including IBF champion; Sebastien Sylvester. At 34 and with 31 fights to his name, you could count on Nespro to be a tough, durable and altogether awkward opponent – easily the Londoners biggest challenge to date.
Come fight night the atmosphere was certainly more ‘Pamplona Bull Run’ than ‘London Marathon’ – it was Buglioni’s first defence of his WBO Title and although this would surely be a tough fight, the fans anticipated Frank to pick up where he left off and make it six stoppages from the last 7 fights. As ever, Team Buglioni was out in full force and the chants for Buglioni started long before the iconic and foreboding thud of seven nation army had even begun to echo around the Copperbox – a venue that is fast becoming Frank’s very own colosseum. Erupting in to voice, the crowd carried Frank in to a heroes welcome and the scene was set….
Round one went to London, the Buglioni jab was stiff and punishing, the right hand finding its target more often than not. Frank closed out the first round with a hard and precise right hand right on the bell which Nespro took well, but you could tell he was feeling the power of Buglioni as he found his way back to the corner.
The second and third went much the same, with Buglioni dominating the centre of the ring, displaying some of the most mature and measured boxing to date. Slipping shots that previously he would have taken and looking to counter punch with great effect.
Come round four and Buglioni moved through the gears, hurting Nespro and taking the fight to him. After knocking Nespro down with a volley of right hands, Buglioni rushed to seal victory – only to get caught himself with a desperate left hook from Nespro.
Round five and service resumed as normal, more pressure, more precise combinations of educated shots which were starting to create openings and opportunities for the patient Buglioni. Nearing the end of the fifth Nespro tried to skip away from the ropes and was caught with a devastating left hook, sending him crashing to the canvas in his corner.
Bravely beating the count Nespro returned to the fray, only to be put back down by a combination of body and head shots. At this point Mr Mikael Hook; the referee called time on the Italians forage into foreign territory and awarded Frank the TKO and retention of his WBO Belt. The night continued as family and friends reunited with Frank at ‘The Cow’ Pub in Westfield, a few notable faces amongst the Team Buglioni regular…
Report Courtesy of Mr Matthew Collett. Twitter @MattCollett Photos Courtesy of Mr Kevin Quigley.