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25th July 2015

19th Fight Report Vs Fernando Castenada

‘Buglioni lands dream world title shot’ Was the headline once news of Buglioni’s next fight and opponent broke. Buglioni had secured himself a dream chance to fight for the world title.

However, July 24th 2015 was not to be the night Buglioni would face Chudinov for a crack at his WBA Super Middlewight world title. Only two weeks before the date, Fedor Chudinov would withdraw from the contest with a suspected broken nose. (A report/photo of the injury would not appear – a delay tactic used by the champion to let his opponents over train.) – Allegedly!


Buglioni decided to stick to the original date and make use of the option to have a full ‘dress-rehearsal’ in the form of a tune up fight. This could be seen as risky by someone on the outside of Team Wise Guy; Buglioni could sustain an unnecessary cut or injury whilst competing and his world title shot would come to a screeching halt.

However Buglioni and his Trainers, Steve & Paschal Collins were full of confidence and on Buglioni’s form in training camp it was almost a certainty that Buglioni would come away with a devastating and risk-free victory.


The Collins brother’s experience and Buglioni’s form should not of been questioned. It was exactly the demolition job they had wanted. He also picked up the WBA Super-Middleweight International title in the process.

Buglioni’s opponent would arrive in the form of Fernando Castenada, a tough Super Middleweight from Mexico who’s last contest was winning the WBC FECOMBOX Cruiserweight title. Castenada made no attempt to make weight and graced the scales at 175.5lbs, Putting him into the Cruiserweight category for the second time of his career.

Boxing at Wembley Arena

Castenada could not land on Buglioni, who used his superior footwork, head movement and defensive manouvers to stay out of harms way. He smashed home his jab and 1,2 combinations from a safe distance and chipped away at his tough Mexican opponent.

After 5 rounds of sustained and systematic punishment Castenada decided to go fro broke, he threw two wild hooks, Buglioni blocked and countered with his own left hook, which clearly shook Castenada. Buglioni then measured him for a thunderous right hook to the head, Castenada slumped to the canvas to be counted out.


Next stop; World Title.


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10th May 2015

18th Fight Report Vs Lee Markham

This fight had been long awaited, by both Buglioni & Markham. An eagerly anticipated match up, where the rivalry stretched as far back as when they fought in the amateur days…

Buglioni Markham banner

As amateur boxers, Buglioni had beaten Markham in the under 20 bout Senior boxing competition, in fact it was the North East Division finals. A year later they boxed again in the same competition, this time Markham came out the winner. However Markham pulled out of the London final after sustaining an injury in the Buglioni fight, Buglioni went onto face John Ryder in what was to be fight of the night and brought the house down at York Hall (this would be the first of many times Buglioni would fight at York Hall, and bring the house down!)

Vs MarkhamAms

Buglioni & Markham had a grudge against one another, nothing personal (both stating the to the press in the pre fight build up) and it is clear there is a mutual respect when talking of one another. Much like the majority of rivalries in boxing, it tends to be from a professional stand point, each fighter wants to prove he is the better man.

weigh in Markham Buglioni

First round, Buglioni & Markham keep their guards tight and try to find openings with hooks and uppercuts, trading jabs before closing the distance and working on the inside, two stand out left hooks to the body from Buglioni. Even round.


Second and third round much of the same, Buglioni lands the cleaner punches and makes Markham miss whilst moving on the back foot. Fourth round sees Buglioni catch Markham on the way in frequently but lands a telling combination in the closing stansa of the fourth.

Fifth round, Buglioni keeps Markham at range for the first two minutes of the round, Markham grits his teeth and lands some eye catching shots in the final minute, but Buglioni answers back. Four rounds to one on Enzo Macranelli & John Rawlings score cards.

Frank Buglioni v Lee Markham WBO European Super-Middleweight Title

Sixth round Markham stays close and exerts good pressure on Buglioni, Buglioni lands with a crunching body punch which clearly hurts Markham, but credit to the Harold Hill man biting on his gumshield and soaking up the punch.

Markahm exerts his will on Buglioni in the 7th as Buglioni begins to look a little drained and ragged. But Buglioni moves well and comes on strong towards the end of the round.


Round eight sees both men go to war with some eye catching combinations being thrown and landed.

Buglioni dominates round nine and really pulls away on the score cards. The Boxnation team stating; Markham needs a knockout to take the victory. Both fighters give there all in the closing round and put on a real performance, their bout would later be nominated for domestic fight of the year.

The scores coming in 96-94 Markham 96-94 Buglioni and 95-95 a piece. The fight ends in a draw and perhaps sets up a 4th and final decider. Watch this space…

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1st March 2015

17th Fight Report Vs Ivan Jukic

The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses – behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights. – Muhammad Ali.


For the experienced fighter and the educated fight fan; the result on fight night is simply an answer to the question; ‘Who has worked the hardest (and with best direction) in training camp?’ – A conclusion that is displayed through the fighters ability to undertake and overcome numerous challenges leading up to the main event;

Training hard and educated, to turn up in the best physical and mental state without carrying injuries or illness, which can often often occur due to the high levels of stress exerted onto both the mind and body throughout the months of intense work.Then crucially ‘Making weight’ properly, giving the fighter as much of a size advantage as possible without compromising speed, sharpness and energy reserves.


The aforementioned points then culminate in the result of the contest and the fashion in which it was achieved. From Buglioni’s flawless one round destruction of Ivan Jukic, It was evident that Buglioni’s preparation had been far superior to that of his opponent.

Time spent in Dublin with Steve & Paschal Collins had served Buglioni well, more encouraging is the speed of his improvements. With each contest that goes by, upgrades in defensive capabilities, enhancements with footwork, head movement and hand positioning. Technical attributes that have not undermined Buglioni’s natural power or aggression.

image3 (1)

I am excited for the future and the greater challenges that Buglioni will face and that I know he will overcome. – Friend & Fan.

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1st December 2014

16th Fight Report Vs Andrew Robinson

Buglioni ExCels himself to regain WBO European belt


Undefeated in 13 and never knocked down, this was the gauntlet laid out by Andrew Robinson on 29th November at the Excel Arena, London. It was a fight that Buglioni had trained hard for and one that 1,000 Team Buglioni fans had flocked to see – Frank looking to stake his claim for the WBO European Super Middleweight title for a second time.

Before the previous fight had come to fruition the chants of the 1,000 strong Team Buglioni masses, along with a good percentage of the other fight fans, rang out across the 20,000 seater arena. Needless to say that given his reputation, it was a fight that promised to deliver explosive boxing, and it didn’t disappoint.


Frank opened the first round (perhaps too eager) empowered by his deafening crowd, he walked into Robinson’s range and was punished by two forceful right hands. Undeterred Buglioni continued to press the action and traded shots with Robinson. A round that could be scored 10-10. The second started with punishing right hands over the top of Robinson’s guard, combined with left hooks to the body – it was obvious that Robinson could feel the power of Buglioni at his best.

There were a few exchanges, with Frank displaying some educated defensive work to compliment his attacking form. Buglioni took the next three rounds, getting the better of Robinson when they traded and certainly landing the more telling shots.


To credit the boxer from Wolverhampton, he had success with the right hand but Buglioni’s granite chin strode through blows and marched on to deliver his own shots which were quickly mounting up. In between rounds you could see the mental work that Steve and Packy Collins were imparting on Frank taking effect, an ever-patient and positive influence in the corner was showing in the ring as Frank took his time to dismantle his opponent.


As a result of the hard work and patience Robinson was slowing and Frank seemed to be getting in to his groove; the jab was accurate and served as a range finder for the left hook and sharp right. Upper cuts were landing frequently for Buglioni now, as Robinson decided to try his luck on the inside, unfortunately for him  he found no more shelter there than he did from range. A stiff fast puncher, it was clear that Robinson had skill and possessed the right tools to lay on a stern challenge but as the rounds progressed and the body shots mounted, Frank blazed a fiercely accurate and hurting left hook on to his chin and he went over. Beating the count, as his record would suggest he would, Robinson found his feet just before the bell rang for the end of the 7th.


At the 8th Buglioni sensed his man was hurt, he chased the stoppage victory. More heavily decisive shots were imparted and for all watching it looked as though the referee would call time on the visitors night – only to be interrupted by the sound of the bell for the end of the round. Robinson, out on his feet, collapsed into his stool and gathered his composure.

The ninth round saw Buglioni boxing with education and poise, looking to make each shot count. Credit should go to Robinson for surviving the 8th and coming out reinvigorated in the 9th, getting off his own shots but unfortunately it was too late and his attempts to land were again met with some stubborn defensive work. The final round was all or nothing for Robinson and he showed strong determination, soaking up more of the Buglioni onslaught. His efforts to defend himself saw a clash of heads which opened up a small cut above Franks left eye, but this did little to deter the Londoner from seeing out the fight and signing off with a hard fought, yet very well deserved unanimous win.

Report courtesy of Mr Matthew Collett

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20th October 2014

Masterclass – An Article by Mr Ian Probert

Just to the left of the back of beyond in a boxing gym called Target Fitness I offer my hand to Steve Collins. The former WBO middleweight and super-middleweight champion eyes me a little suspiciously before reluctantly extending his own. “Jey-sus, I thought you were going to kiss me!” he says in an unmistakable Irish brogue.


Collins has not long turned 50 and looks good on it, certainly better than I do. If you squint it is difficult to discern much of a difference between the man standing before you and the boxer who cleaned up the British end of the super-middleweight division in unequivocal fashion during the mid-1990s. “Not just yet,” I say, feeling in his fingers a little of the power that earned Collins double wins over rivals of the calibre of Nigel Benn and Chris Eubank.

Gloved up next to the former champion is a young fighter and occasional model named Frank Buglioni. Although Buglioni would be the first to admit that the Southern Area super-middleweight title he picked up this September is some way short of the prestige that he covets, in Steve Collins he sees a template that he hopes will put him in more esteemed company.

“I’ve always been a fan of Steve Collins and I’ve met him at various events in the boxing world,” Buglioni tells me as he prepares for the older man to put him through his paces. “You can’t get any better than what he’s achieved and how he achieved it.”

I perch on the ring apron and watch Buglioni aim punches at his new trainer. This is not the first time I have seen Buglioni do this. In March of this year I saw him exchange blows with an impressively muscled Ovil McKenzie in London’s Canning Town. On that occasion former boxer Mark Tibbs was the man mopping Buglioni’s brow and although at the time I kept it to myself, there was something troubling me about what I was seeing.


Buglioni was just a week away from the second defence of something called the WBO European super-middleweight champion. His opponent was a wily old coyote named Sergey Khomitsky and although hardly cannon-fodder, everyone was expecting Buglioni to beat the 40-year-old veteran handily. Nevertheless, I found it difficult to ignore the air of complacency that seemed to pervade what I saw in that gym. Although punches were thrown and received in great quantity by Buglioni, there was something subtly lacking in intensity. It was difficult to put your finger on it but it still came as a surprise when Buglioni was halted in six rounds.

“We knew it was the biggest step up in my career to date. We knew he was a very good opponent but knew that he falls apart after about six or seven rounds,” an eloquent, focused Buglioni remembers. “He’s 39 years old so I had the youth on him but I didn’t box to my strengths. I think I could have put the pressure on earlier, settled him down a little bit, made him wary rather than trying to lull him into a false sense of security and catch him with counters.

“You just know in their eyes. I hit him with a shot and his back leg gave way a little bit. And I went in and threw a few shots and he held. When I was hurt I didn’t have that experience. I didn’t hold. I didn’t tie him up. I tried to fight when my coordination and timing wasn’t there. And that’s what happened in the sixth round. He caught me with a good shot and I went with him a little bit. And then he caught me with exactly the same left hook round the side and on the chin again.”


“My trainer stopped the fight because he knew that fella could have finished me and done more damage,” Frank continues. “I’m not naive – I know he could have done that. I was in no position to continue at that time. And that’s probably why I’m so confident and I’ve come back so strong. Because I walked out of that ring. I wasn’t put on my arse.

“It didn’t hurt. Obviously my legs went, my coordination went and the ropes probably kept me up but I didn’t go down. In the corner of my eye I saw the referee and I thought, ‘don’t jump in! Don’t jump in!’. I was still thinking, although obviously I couldn’t defend myself.”

“I’m glad I lost,” reflects Buglioni on the defeat that prompted him to seek a new trainer. “When I look back and I’ve got the world title around my waist I’ll say that the loss put me back on the right track.

“Sometimes you have to be beat to realise that you need to rectify things and do them properly. That fight stopped me from just going through the motions. I’m a fighter now. I get on with my job. I’m there to hurt people now.”


The person he’s hurting today is Steve Collins. I watch as teacher and student navigate the boundaries of the ring. In one corner Collins ties Buglioni up and grunts encouragement as his protégé works at improving his infighting. In the centre of the ring Buglioni continually prods out his big jab and follows through with a heavy right that makes me wince. Always pressing, pressing, pressing with tangible urgency. Even though Collins is wearing a ridiculously oversized body protector he will sometimes stop the action and gratefully gulp in a mouthful of air: “That one fucking hurt!” he exclaims on more than one occasion.

It’s fascinating to watch:  A little bit of Brockton, Massachusetts transplanted to Cheshunt, Hertfordshire. A direct link to the habits that Collins absorbed in his early days with the Petronelli brothers, trainers of a certain Marvin Hagler. A level of intensity that Buglioni hopes will turn him from fringe contender to champion.

“Once I’d left Mark I rang Steve and said I needed advice,” Buglioni tells me later as he eats a salad prepared by himself. “I said I wanted to get away from London and all the pressure. I wanted to go down the same route that he did.

“He said: why don’t I fly out to Dublin and meet his brother, Paschal, and see what it’s like? The day after I spoke to him I was on a plane and that afternoon I was sparring with Gary O’Sullivan at the Celtic Warrior’s Gym. There are hungry, determined fighters there and they are all pushing each other. So when I came back I told Steve that I wanted to make it work.”


And Steve certainly likes to work. While Buglioni showers I find Collins sweating it out on an exercise bike. He talks about the Petronelli days. About how Hagler would never spar with him. “I understand now,” he says breathlessly. “You don’t want some young fighter trying to knock your head off. In those days I thought I could beat anybody.” He talks about those contests with Eubank, about how unbelievably strong the Brighton fighter was. About how hard Nigel Benn hit. He talks about Roy Jones Jr…

Collins is one of boxing’s more presentable survivors. Unlike so many he has managed to avoid the bankruptcy courts and lives in comfort in St. Albans. He owns a working farm with cows and sheep, plays polo and, in addition to Buglioni, finds time to oversee the nascent career of his cruiserweight son, Steve Collins Jr.. But one has only to Google the ex-fighter to find plenty of evidence of an ongoing desire to fight the faded Roy Jones Jr..

“He’s still got it,” says Buglioni. “Steve was a master technician and I know that chopping right hand he throws very well. It creates a lot of power. When we’re on the pads he shows his shots and throws them around the shoulders and you can still feel the power.”

Up close Buglioni does not look much like a boxer. At 25-years-of-age he’s picked up the occasional nick but he still has the film star good looks that can have rivals and commentators dismissing him as a Fancy Dan, a latter day Gary Stretch. One only has to spend a few moments with him, however, to understand that Buglioni is deadly serious about what he does.

“For the next fight I will stay in Dublin for six weeks,” he says. “I rent out a little one-bed apartment in the city centre. I don’t see the night-life. I’m in the gym twice a day. I do my own shopping and my own cooking. I don’t go out in the evening. I’m in bed by 9:30 p.m.”

The man responsible for robbing Buglioni of his night-life is one Andrew Robinson. The pair meet on the undercard of Fury-Chisora In November when Buglioni will attempt to regain the title he lost to Khomitsky. The unbeaten Robinson has the disconcerting nickname of ‘D’Animal’ but that does not seem to intimidate Buglioni. “Robinson will be the one going to bed early when we meet,” he says as we exit the gym just to the left of the back of beyond.


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21st September 2014

15th Fight Report Vs Alexy Ribchev

York Hall, September 20th 2014. Buglioni Vs Ribchev 10 round contest.

Buglioni’s 15th fight would be against the no.1 Bulgarian Middleweight, Alexeev Ribchev. Only twice been stopped in a 30 fight career. We would witness just how tough this Bulgarian would prove to be.

Both fighters weighed twelve stone, one and one half pounds on the scales at the day before official weigh in. But it was clear to say Buglioni had come to the scales and contest in superior shape. A testament to his new trainers; world renowned Boxing brothers; Steve & Paschal Collins. (Please see blog article; ‘Wise Guy joins Celtic Warriors’ for in depth report on Buglioni’s change of trainers)

Round 1, Buglioni starts the aggressor and pushes Ribchev back with spiteful jabs and straight rights. Finding Ribchev on the ropes, Buglioni began to set up hooks and short uppercuts. A flurry of shots including some punishing right hands sees Buglioni shake Ribchev and take the round comfortably.

The second round follows suit, Buglioni dominating from the centre, pushing Ribchev back with powerful straights. Buglioni pushing Ribchev close to the ropes lands with vicious short uppercuts and hooks on the inside, not power punches but hurtful skimming shots which are marking Ribchevs eyes and cheeks. Another Buglioni round.

Going into the third Ribchev needs to fight back to avoid being stopped by the ref. he throws some lunging combinations which Buglioni blocks with an improved guard and high left hand. Ribchev is met with counter right hands for his troubles and is shaken. Buglioni sensing his man hurt, continues to unload combinations and rapid fire punches. Ribchev uses every ounce of experience to hold, tie up and spoil til the end of the round. His corner have work to do bringing down his now swollen eyes.

The fourth round sees Buglioni outbox Ribchev and fire shots at distance, catching a leaping left hook from Ribchev, Buglioni is not troubled but responds positively with some hard shots of his own. Four rounds up Buglioni returns to a happy corner.

Instructed to keep doing what he’s doing and start switching to the body, Buglioni is up off his stool and into the fifth round. Buglioni finds openings off his jab, dropping to the body after side stepping. A new technique from camp Collins in Dublin no doubt. Buglioni piles on the pressure, unanswered combinations sees Jeff Hinds the referee take a closer look at the action and is ready to jump in and save Ribchev on more than one occasion. The crowd roar Buglioni on as the finish seems imminent. Ribchev however survives another round, the Bulgarian shows a toughness beyond belief.

The sixth round commences with Buglioni finishing where he left off, swinging and missing Ribchev is caught by 3 stinging right hands as Buglioni counters and side steps one after the other. The final right opens up a nasty gash to the right eye of Ribchev, with blood soaked vision, Buglioni sees Ribchev’s vulnerability and unleashes even more punches. The referee and doctor deem Ribchev unable to continue and the contest is called to halt halfway through the 6th round. Another TKO victory in favour of Buglioni. Team Collins & The Wiseguy will be pleased with a solid opening performance to their newly found partnership and the improvements will be built on for the next outing on November 29th. Watch this space.

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10th September 2014

Frank Buglioni in Collaboration with Hamilton & Hare in the #BoxerProject

To celebrate our boxing roots, we’ve partnered with up and coming British boxer, Frank Buglioni, to create a limited edition ‘Frank’ collection of boxer shorts. Available with your own fighting nickname embroidered on the side reflecting a tendency of boxing greats.

Mr. Frank Buglioni, Hamilton and Hare, The Boxer Project

Mr. Frank Buglioni

Fight Name: The Wise Guy

Weight Division: Super-middle weight

Career high to date: WBO European Super Middleweight belt.

Motto: ‘The harder I train the luckier I get’

Boxing record: 13 wins (10 knockouts, 3 decisions) 1 loss 

Frank started boxing at the age of 14 and was selected to fight for England at the age of 19. After an illustrious amateur career, including 25 knockout wins hewas given the opportunity to  start his pro career with Mark & Jimmy Tibbs the famous East-London trainers with a track record of multiple world champions. Since then he was gone from strength to strength, winning the WBO European Title in 2013 and described by the Independent as ‘talent that will hit the big time in 2014’. He recently appointed Steve Collins, ‘The Celtic Warrior’ and former WBO super middleweight champion as his new trainer and Steve has said of him:

“Franks got heart, a good chin and intelligence.
If you have all those three, you can build a champion”.

We’re delighted to be working with Frank. Click HERE to watch the video.

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17th July 2014

14th Fight Report Vs Sam Couzens. Southern Area Championship

Buglioni Vs Couzens – York Hall, July 16th 2014.

In Buglioni’s comeback fight he was to be up against former southern area champion; Sam Couzens. A seasoned and hardened pro. Couzens strengths were his durability, grit, determination and aggressive but somewhat unorthodox come forward style. The bout was to be for the vacant Southern Area title, headlining Frank Warrens show at the iconic York Hall. July 16th 2014.

Buglioni’s mental attitude had changed considerably since suffering his first loss to the world level Khomitsky. He had developed the much needed spite along with that tunnel vision to his trade considered vital when getting to the top of any sport, none more so than boxing. Always dedicated, it was well documented that Buglioni had stepped his commitment up a notch, from dedicated to almost a monk-like existence during training camp. The rumours of this increased determination were confirmed at the weigh-in when Buglioni presented himself in the shape of his life with an increase in muscle definition and lower body fat.

During his interview at the weigh-in Buglioni seemed cold and intent on doing damage to his opponent, predicting a KO victory inside 2 rounds. Sam Couzens it seemed, took umbrage to the aforementioned claim and showed the grit he was famous for, but there was only so much he could take.

In the opening round, Buglioni came out landing stiff, hard jabs to the head of Couzens who tried in vain to block the intrusive lefts. Couzens fired back with some jabs of his own, only to be deflected by a Buglioni parry and counter 1,2 combination. Buglioni piled on the pressure, stalking his man around the ring, an exciting trade off between the fighters took place in the Couzens corner with Buglioni slipping and rolling and coming back with left hook, right hands. Buglioni spinning off the ropes pushed Couzens back once more. A slicing right uppercut to the body took Couzens by surprise and Buglioni closed in, a left hook to body and head sent Couzens to the deck. Up at 8 Couzens looked hurt, Buglioni closed in for the kill but before he could land the killer blow, the belt ended for round 1.

Round 2 and 3 saw much of the same, Buglioni throwing combinations and stalking his opponent around the ring, landing with some crunching body shots and well timed uppercuts. Couzens nose began to pour blood and the swelling and bruising around both eyes was becoming evident. The fight was oozing from Couzens, his power and sharpness was fading fast. However Couzens showed elements of success landing the right hand to Buglioni’s temple on two occasions and a toughness that any fighter would be proud to have.

The 4th round, Buglioni started the round slightly slower than the opening 3 and opted to jab and move more. Perhaps a rest bite before mounting a final charge to finish the business. Couzens sensing the pace slow decided to mount an attack, walking onto a well timed right hand counter of Buglioni. Buglioni with his back to the ropes, felt the shot land and followed up with a vicious combination, landing a long left hook to the chin of Couzens, who reeled back into the ropes on the adjacent side. Buglioni followed him and let the shots fly, firing with both hands, hooks, uppercuts and straights to the head of Couzens. Me Bob Williams the referee had no option but to rescue Couzens and call the contest to a halt.

The wise guy was back on track, picking up his 10th Knockout & 13th win along with the Super Middleweight Southern Area Title. #TeamBuglioni who had been vocal throughout erupted in celebration! Special mention & thanks to West 1 Construction, Pride Scaffolding, BetVictor, SpeedFlex, Danieli, Herts Heritage & Tryfan Technologies for their generous and loyal support.

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14th July 2014

Blessings in disguise…

April 12th 2014 was a night that will live long in the memory of all members of Team Buglioni. Granted it was the night that Frank Buglioni lost his first professional fight to a world level and hugely experienced opponent in Sergey Khomitsky, a blow that would be hard to take for any professional fighter. But more importantly it was a night when the hugely loyal fan base that follow Frank at all of his fights had to ask themselves – what happens now?

It is inevitable that when someone who has burst into the professional arena in the way that Frank has comes up against a set back, people will be quick to stick the boot in, criticise preparation techniques or doubt whether or not this individual has what it takes to get to the top of the profession that they dedicate their lives to. The purpose of this piece is not to try and convert people’s opinions, everyone is entitled to their own, but perhaps more to offer an insight into the man that is Frank Buglioni and why I and many of his loyal fans know what’s in store!

To understand what makes Frank tick you have to go back to the beginning. Not to the GB boxing team, or even to his days with the formidable Repton Boys Amateur Boxing Club but to Waltham Forrest Gym at the age of 9 or 10 where it really began. Before boxing Frank and I played football for the same team and I think Frank would be the first one to admit that he was just never really that into it, football just didn’t push his buttons. Like most youngsters in our area you played football because your mates did and most of us enjoyed it so much that we continued to play for years to come. Frank just never really seemed that keen, in fact I think it would be fair to say that he played the last season just to keep me happy! So when he invited me along to Waltham Forrest on a freezing cold Tuesday night on the pretence of trying out a different type of training, I humoured him and tagged along.

From the second we stepped into that gym something changed in Frank. You could see that naturally he was at home. For me, the intensity of the training, the bullish nature of the ‘coaching’ just wasn’t my thing but for him the phrase ‘duck to water’ would be the understatement of the century! People that don’t know Frank outside of boxing may be surprised to learn that he is actually quite a placid individual and this has been a feature of his character for as long as I can remember, so despite his obvious natural ability for boxing, I didn’t expect it to be a permanent fixture in his life. I assumed that this would be a one time thing, how wrong could I be. Within a matter of weeks he had given up with football and had immersed himself in boxing.

He was training a couple of times a week at Waltham Forrest and before you could say ‘Joe Calzaghe’ the garage had been turned into a boxing gym and the nights of catching up after school invariably involved wearing head guards and hitting each other, Frank with far more conviction and power than myself it has to be said. But this was more than a hobby for Frank. He was running 3 or 4 times a week before school, training at Waltham Forrest, having boxing trainers come to him to perfect elements of his craft that he felt needed working on and this was all at the age of 12!

It was a different level of dedication at a very young age, more than anything I had witnessed before. I knew lads that we’re playing football at professional academies at the time but the determination to be the best that I saw in Frank during those years was something that I have never seen matched.

Fast forward through the next few years and with every progression that Frank made, the intensity was turned up. Through our latter teenage years you knew better than to invite Frank down the pub on a Friday night, you knew where he’d be and exactly what he’d be doing. Most people will look at a professional boxers lifestyle and think that it’s a glamorous affair, I would challenge those people to get up at 5am, day in day out, in the rain and sometimes snow and go for a 5 mile run before training (I know I still don’t really understand that one, but Frank insists that it’s necessary).

The driving force behind Frank’s rise into the professional boxing game has never been fame, glamour or money. It’s an unrelenting desire to be the best at what he does and to prove that at every level he can take people on and beat them. As an amateur he had a reputation for stopping people, but even after a convincing win he would not be out on the lash (as I would have much preferred) he’d be back home watching the video of the fight, meticulously analysing every detail in order to improve in any way he could for the next one.

When you have watched somebody close to you progress, mature and ultimately achieve what Frank has done it is difficult not to admire them. But what most people wont know about Frank is the journey that he has been through to get to the point he is at today, this is what I have tried to share in a very short trip down memory lane, but the point is this. When you are naturally gifted at something you will always do well in that arena, but when you couple that ability with grit, determination and the willingness to do what the other man will not, that is when you become the best and that is what I saw begin to develop in Frank the first time he walked into that boxing gym!

So when I stood in the Copper Box and watched Frank’s 1st professional defeat and looked around me at the dejected army of loyal followers who looked confused as well as saddened by the defeat I couldn’t help but stifle a grin. I knew what would be going on in his mind when the adrenalin had worn off and the stadium had emptied because I have seen the making of the man!

So, what happens next? I’m pretty certain that I know what happens next and I’m sure as hell glad that I won’t be the one on the receiving end of it!

Courtesy of Mr Daniel Baker – Friend

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13th April 2014

13th Fight Report Vs Sergey Khomitsky – WBO European defence.

For Frank Buglioni’s 13th fight he was up against the relatively unknown veteran of the game Sergey Khomitsky. A quick check on Boxrec would indicate a solid fighter with a decent record who had only been beaten by the best. However a closer look would show just how tough and experienced Khomitsky was; he retired Jamie Moore, came close to beating Martin Murray twice and in his latest outing, was outpunching and outpointing former world champion Robert Steiglitz before a controversial 10th round stoppage.

Buglioni went into the fight confident of out boxing Khomitsky and then outwork him in the later stages of the contest. But Khomitsky had other ideas.

Buglioni started the opening round well, dominating behind a stiff jab whilst moving on the back foot, Khomitsky unable to close the range is picked off. On the occasions Khomitsky came in close, Buglioni blocked and countered well on the inside before pushing Khomitsky back on the end of the jab. Good start for Buglioni.

The second round saw much of the same, Buglioni controlling the pace behind his long sharp jab and firing good counter punches when Khomitsky opted to work on the inside. Buglioni finishes with 2 good combinations and lands a solid right hook to take the round.

In the third round, Khomitsky lands with a solid left hook to Buglioni’s chin and then follows up with a right hand over the top. Khomitsky continues to pressure Buglioni who returns fire with fire, throwing his own combinations, but they do not land as cleanly as the Belarussian’s own. They finish with a trade off. A Khomitsky round.

Into the fourth, Buglioni and Khomitsky both assert themselves, equally landing chopping right hands, Buglioni’s right has a telling effect on Khomitsky who looks to hold and tie his man up. The experienced veteran utilises his seasoned skills to minimise the youngsters onslaught. The superior footwork and work rate sees the youngster take another round.

The fifth round sees Khomitsky land successive right hands and push the pressure on Buglioni, who’s defence had become loose. Sensing he is behind in the round, Buglioni mounts an attack in the closing stages of the round, too little too late however and the Belarussian bruiser takes another round on the scorecards.

Sixth round spells disaster for Buglioni, into the opening minute Khomitsky lands with a peach of a left hook to Buglioni’s chin, seeing his man stunned, he jumps over Buglioni and puts together a combination of hurtful shots. Buglioni does well to take them and maintain a clinch with his back to the ropes. His inexperienced show and clearly still hurt Buglioni tried to mount a counter strike, however he was caught with another left hook and saved by the ropes, subsequently receiving commanding a count by the referee.

Bravely willing to continue, Buglioni tells his corner he is ready for battle, but showing experience and care for his young fighter, Mark Tibbs wisely calls the contest to a halt, retiring his fighter and allowing him to walk back to the changing room and live to fight another day. Sergey Khomitsky causes the upset and takes home the WBO Super Middleweight European Title, securing himself a top 5 world ranking.