By John J. Raspanti
Light heavyweight prospect Fanlong Meng might have sent Frank Buglioni into retirement by stopping the former British champion and world title challenger in round five at the Le Casini de Monaco Saturday night.
A bad cut over Buglioni’s left eye was the reason the fight was stopped. Hopefully Buglioni,29, won’t use the cut as the reason for his loss-as Meng (14-0, 9 KOs) used his face as target practice throughout the five-round affair.
In the opening stanza, Meng, from China, moved to his left and popped his jab. Buglioni, who said before the fight that he liked fighting southpaws, didn’t like it for long. Meng,30, connected with two left uppercuts that likely won him the round.
In the next heat, Meng stopped Buglioni (22-4, 16 KOs) in his tracks with a left to the jaw. Buglioni, of North London, England, tried to jab his way in but was being caught with counters.
Told by his corner let his hands go on a more regular basis, Buglioni did just that in round three. Fanlong absorbed the blows and fought back. Buglioni also landed a clean shot to the body.
In round four, Meng knocked Buglioni back a step with a clean left. Never a defensive wizard, but loaded with heart, Buglioni was struggling with Meng’s faster hands. Round five saw Meng continuing to tattoo with Buglioni with left hands.
One of those accurate lefts opened a bad cut over Buglioni’s right eye. The ringside doctor checked the cut and let the fight continue for another minute or so. After another shot to the damaged skin, the doctor advised the referee that the fight was over.
The time was 1:58 seconds of round five.
A crestfallen Buglioni clapped as Fanlong was announced the winner. He walked back to his corner with a faraway look on his face, likely pondering what to do next. Eight months ago, Buglioni was stopped in the opening round by former WBA light heavyweight champion Callum Johnson.