By Lee Elford
Frank Buglioni makes his next appearance as a professional this coming Saturday at The Royal Albert Hall’s first boxing show for 13-years. After enjoying an explosive start to his professional career on November 5 last year, he’s been making waves in the middleweight division as one of the Country’s most likely to achieve world honours. Along with stable mate Billy Joe Saunders and fellow FWP promoted fighters George Groves, James Degale and Rocky Fielding, Matchroom’s John Ryder and Hennessey’s Chris Eubank Jr, the future of British boxing in this legendary division looks in secure hands.
BoxingScene caught up with Frank at the TKO gym, Canning Town, London, who kindly took time out from his training to update fans on his steady rise from the amateurs, to professional prospect. He said: "I had about 60 fights as an amateur, lost about 10. I stopped most of my opponents, about fifty percent of them"recalled Frank.
"I won two national titles - one as a junior and one as a senior winning the NEBC’s. I started boxing for England at 19, having quite a few for my Country. I went on to represent the GB team – boxed in the Commonwealth Federations, got a Silver medal out there. I went on loads of training camps with the team which was great for my experience. I went in the ABA’s twice, I got beaten the first time round aged 19 by Kirk Garvey in the London finals - I stopped three out of three going into that fight. Last year I boxed John Dignam in the semi - finals and got beaten on points again, but again I stopped three going into that fight as well. If I didn’t stop them I’d get beaten on points and that was the extent of my amateur career, really."
The 22-year-old stopped Sabie Montieth with a first round TKO on his pro debut, while demonstrating his power further when following up with another impressive first round TKO of Paul Morby at the York Hall just two weeks later. Frank showed he can outpoint his man when defeating Ryan Clark over four rounds back in February producing a mature, settled and professional display.
"In the Sabie fight we saw the bully tactics he used against John Ryder," said Buglioni. "He came in with the head and threw him about using his weight so we knew he’d be aggressive and come forward. We worked on it in the gym sparring big erratic fighters, as they come in we worked on picking them off and catching the shots, the sparring was going really well, we worked on a game plan. We thought he’d walk onto a shot but we didn’t expect it to come as early as it did so I was really pleased with that performance.
"I got the call to fight Paul Morby two weeks later. Again I was quite sharp for that one, I’d done the training camps and I banged straight in. We knew he was elusive. We’d seen him fight a few guys in Dan Cadman, Rocky Fielding and Tony Jeffries. Then we saw his fight against Kenny Anderson, who stuck it on him and caught him early and hurt him so we thought he’s there to be caught early as it takes him a little time to warm up so that’s what we did and it paid off. Against Ryan Clark, he went the distance he was very tough, very durable and that was a good learning curve."
On the back of a cancellation of his proposed March 15 fight, there was re-thinking to be done on getting prepared for a new date. An opponent has yet to be named for this weekend’s contest but Frank is anticipating a further step up from his last fight and is ready for whoever is put in front of him. Fans can expect to wait for any future title shots as the 6’’1 powerhouse from Enfield is preparing strategically alongside Mark and Jimmy Tibbs with plenty of time on his side.
"These things happen in boxing," he said when speaking about the nixed March date. "It’s happened before in the amateurs and I’m sure it will happen again in the pros. We’d had a good training camp with some good sparring. We found out a week or so before so I hadn’t reached my final peak. So what I did was carry on the training, had a good spar and then just had a week off before starting again, getting built up again - I feel great now and I’m ready to go. I’m looking at having another two or three six rounder’s by the end of the year, maybe moving up to eight next year, see how I get on, see if I feel comfortable. Next year I’ll be looking at 10-rounds and the southern area title. When I get to 10-rounds, I want to be sure I’m ready to go on to bigger and better things as well."
BoxingScene asked Frank about what the future may bring domestically but he calmed a suggested possibility of a future contest against John Ryder. Chris Eubank Jr. could be a realistic possibility.
"I really rate the pair of them [Eubank Jr. and Ryder]," stressed Buglioni. "I fought John Ryder as an amateur, I was a kid at the time and we had a very good close fight and he won that one on points. I’ve sparred him since and I’ve come on. He’s a good fighter but I think I’m naturally too big for him to ever cross paths, he’s a natural middleweight and I’m a natural super middle going toward light-heavy. Chris Eubank Jr., he’s quite big for a middleweight he’ll probably end up a super middle, he’s good so that could definitely be one down the line."