By John J. Raspanti
Last seen coming back from the brink of defeat to knock out rival Hosea Burton, Frank Buglioni will put his British light-heavyweight title on the line this Saturday against Ricky Summers at the O2 Arena in London, England.
Buglioni (19-2, 15 KOs) and Summers (13-0, 5 KOs) were set to meet last March until Buglioni sustained a cut in training.
“I felt sick with the injury at the time, but I’m raring to go now,” Buglioni told The Docklands and East London Advertiser.
“I saw the surgeon and he said that my skin is fine and that I’m not susceptible to cuts, so that’s a positive for me. It was the headguard that caused it, so we’ve changed that.”
Buglioni is excited to be back in the squared circle.
“I live in the gym, always keeping sharp and fit, so it was a setback but I’m on track and I’m thrilled to be topping the bill at The O2,” said Buglioni.
Many boxing experts called his epic comeback victory over Burton the fight of the year. It had everything. Rivalry, blood, guts, and drama.
Buglioni was losing the fight but winning the war. He wouldn’t stop coming, but Burton was outboxing him. His right hand couldn’t miss. Buglioni bobbed and weaved, but still Burton’s right found Buglioni’s chin again and again.
That chin, though, is solid. It took whatever Burton unleashed, and asked for more. After 11 rounds of give and take, Burton looked frustrated and tired.
Buglioni pounded his gloves together before round 12, but within seconds, he was the one on the defensive.
Burton came out punching. He landed a number of shots. A five-punch combination sent Buglioni backward. He motioned to Burton to bring it on.
There was barely a minute left in the bout. Buglioni bobbed and weaved, and let fly with an overhand right. The blow crashed off Burton’s temple, sending him wobbling back two steps.
Buglioni jumped inside and connected with a cuffing left. Burton collapsed to the canvas on his left side. He bravely got up at the count of eight. His mouth was open. His eyes looked glassy as he tried to focus on referee Michael Alexander.
Burton’s body quaked as Buglioni wasted no time getting at him. Two lefts and a stunning right sent Burton wilting back to the ropes. Referee Alexander immediately jumped in and threw his arms around the stricken boxer like a protective parent, ending the fight.
Burton, undefeated no longer, didn’t utter a word.
One punch had changed the outcome.
“Hosea is above British level and I beat him, so I think that shows how good I am,” said Buglioni of the most important victory of his career.
Summers, Buglioni’s opponent this Saturday, feels that the British champion might be a little over-confident.
“I’m planning on spoiling the party,” Summers told www.secondsout.com.”I think he’s overlooking me. He hasn’t beaten me yet.”
Summers has had eight fewer fights than Buglioni, and though he’s undefeated, hasn’t faced the same level of competition.
Buglioni doesn’t do boring fights. He battles from the opening bell.
Look for another shootout.