By Jake Donovan
Some two decades after they served among the best 168 lb. fighters in the world, Roy Jones Jr. and Steve Collins will finally meet in a super middleweight title fight.
Their roles are drastically different, however. Both will serve in opposite corners as chief seconds for the September 26 clash between Fedor Chudinov and Frank Buglioni at Wembley Arena in London, England.
Jones connected with Chudinov (13-0, 10KOs) during his recent efforts to gain dual citizenship in the United States and Russia. The former four-division champ has set up camp in Russia for his own upcoming fight in England, which comes September 12 versus Tony Moran.
Never the type to focus on just one task at a time, the future Hall of Famer has elected to work with Chudinov and former 140 lb. titlist Khabib Allakhverdiev ahead of their upcoming fights.
“Fedor is doing great right now and we’re preparing to come over to England and (defend) the world title,” Jones said of his client's progress. “Fedor’s strength is that he’s a very aggressive guy and what I want to do is to teach him left and right head movement to slip punches more because right now he’s a little straight up. He’s got great footwork, I love his footwork, mix it in with the left and right head movement, with the footwork so he can roll under Buglioni’s punches and he use his feet to get away.
“If he can improve his head movement he’ll be in great shape. We have to take the range away from Buglioni and that takes away his fight. I believe that Fedor will win without a problem, I think he can catch him late with some good body work.”
The bout will mark the first defense of the super middleweight belt Chudinov collected in a split decision win over former middleweight champ Felix Sturm this past May.
Standing in the opposite corner, Buglioni (17-1-1, 13KOs) enjoys hometown advantage, appearing at Wembley for his third straight fight. The 26-year old contender is unbeaten in his past six starts following the lone loss of his career.
His most recent feat came in late July, scoring a 5th round knockout of Fernando Castaneda. Buglioni still went through with the fight despite Castaneda coming in at the light heavyweight limit for a super middleweight clash, speaking to his level of commitment and preparation.
The latter comes from having a former top talent like Collins in his corner. Jones never had the chance to experience his in-ring capabilities, as their careers managed to run parallel while holding separate versions of the super middleweight crown during the 1990s.
Still, Jones recalls enough of his old division rival and the knowledge he brings to any camp to know that Chudinov will have to be at the top of his game in order to prevail.
Jones looks forward to that challenge, as well as his separate visits to England in the coming month.
“It will be interesting seeing Steve, he’s a great guy, but this fight is all about Fedor and Buglioni. I can’t wait to come to England for this fight and meet the many loyal fans I have there.”
Jake Donovan is the managing editor of BoxingScene.com
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