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19 NOVEMBER 2017

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Buglioni fends off Summers to retain British


Frank Buglioni successfully defended his British Light Heavyweight Title for the first time on Saturday night, at the O2 in London, as he outpointed the tough and resolute Ricky Summers over twelve rounds.

 

Buglioni was given a very stern workout but he was the decisive and deserved winner when all was said and done. The scorecards read: 116-113, 115-114 & 118-111

 

Summers was rocked in round two by a big right hand from Buglioni and destructive body shots in rounds three and four left the challenger with deep red welts around his torso but after this fight nobody will question the heart and determination of Summers, who stuck rigidly to his task despite the onslaught.

 

Buglioni is all action and continued to hunt his man down but Summers answered back, choosing to trade at times, as the fans in the O2 cheered them on. The champion displayed much improved head movement at times, something he has lacked in the past, and he hurt Summers several times with head and body attacks but the West Midlander just would not wilt.

 

Summers never hurt Buglioni nor was there ever a point where he looked capable of springing the upset but his stock still rose given the manner of his performance and the adversity he faced. I thought Buglioni won by four or five rounds in the end, perhaps he was a little sloppy around midway, and he is certainly ready for bigger tests.

 

There has been talk of him re-matching Hosea Burton next, they put on a great fight last December, but Buglioni also has options at European/World level if promoter Eddie Hearn can push them forward. Buglioni’s style is fan friendly, he never has a dull fight, and win,lose or draw he will give everything at any level you choose to put him at. If the "Wise Guy" does choose to vacate domestic level to pursue higher aspirations then Ricky Summers should be a shoe in for another crack at the Lonsdale, he will present a difficult night for anyone at 175.

 

Ted Cheeseman won the English Super Welterweight Championship with a third round technical knockout of Matthew Ryan.

 

Cheeseman had bad intentions from the beginning and went looking for his opponent with well timed and accurate work. Ryan tried to fight back but he just wasn’t on the same level of his opponent, who is really making waves at domestic level. Cheeseman landed a left to the body in round two, forcing a wince from Ryan, and then in round three he ended the fight with two knockdowns. An uppercut and hook combo had Ryan down early and although he managed to rise he was nothing more than target practise for "Big Cheese". A big right in the corner had Ryan down again and the referee stopped it, Ryan deemed too brave for his own good.

 

Cheeseman is only 21 but looks one to watch for sure. This fight also served as a British eliminator so the Bermondsey man will be keeping a close eye in current holder Liam Williams, who is expected to vacate in the near future as he chases a re-match with Liam Smith. Cheeseman is certainly ready for the Lonsdale belt.

 

Watford’s Reece Bellotti continued his rise up the Featherweight rankings with an eighth round stoppage of Jamie Speight, capturing the WBC Silver Championship in the process.

 

Speight started out gamely and tried to stand and match Bellotti but posed no real danger, allowing Reece to take control with a series of lead left hooks and body work. Speight attempted to make it a messy affair but every time he clinched he was nothing more than a target for uppercuts and inside work. Bellotti rocked his man in round seven with a straight right hand and then finished the job in the eighth with a barrage of head and body shots, prompting the referee to halt proceedngs.

 

Bellotti looks a real prospect, nine early wins from his ten undefeated, and I don’t think it’ll be long until he’s sharing a ring with domestic rivals such as Isaac Lowe and Ryan Walsh.

 

Light Heavyweight, Jake Ball continued his road to recovery with a four round blitz of Jamie Ambler. Ball is in the process of building himself back up after a 2016 defeat to JJ McDonagh and after this victory it may be the re-match in the pipeline next.

 

Ambler tried to keep the fight at distance from the outset but Ball closes the distance well and by round three he firmly in control, looking for the finish. Ambler went down from a short counter shot in round four and although he beat the count he wasn’t in the fight for much longer. Ball, registering an eighth KO in nine wins, crashed another heavy hook into the head of his foe and the referee deemed Ambler in no condition to continue.

 

Conor Benn returned to the ring following a hiatus to work on his skillset and he looked good in his third round stoppage of Mike Cole. Benn displayed classy movement and counter punching as he broke down Cole, who came into this bout undefeated. In the first round Benn was perhaps a little guilty of loading up but he relaxed into it and a straight right hand down the pipe left Cole sprawled in round number two. Cole, who deserves so much credit for taking this fight at a day’s notice, got back up but he was sent packing in round three with another huge right hand on the ropes. In a week where a lot of focus has been on Benn’s father (the announcement that Nigel will face old adversary Steve Collins in a third fight later this year) it was good to see Conor take back the limelight and show what he is capable of.

 

Super Middleweight, Craig Richards made heavy weather of his six round decision over Portugal’s Rui Manuel Pavanito. Richards started the fight out in complete control, using his jab and combination punching to dominate, but Pavanito worked his way back into the contest in round three with some heavy overhand rights. Richards was flat footed at times, a non moving target, and he allowed his opponent to land leather as we approached the end. Richards was definitely up on the cards by round six but he was clearly staggered before the final bell and that will be a worrying sign for his team. At 9-0 there is still plenty of room for improvement for Richards but one has to wonder where the ceiling will come in, because on this performance it wouldn’t appear too far away.

Isaac Chamberlain made light work of Ryan Crawford as he stopped his man in the third, making it eight wins from eight. Chamberlain shot to prominence with his performance against Wadi Camacho in 2016 and it’s clear to see he needs to be fighting against better opposition. Crawford started brightly enough and went for the kill but a left hook late in round one from Chamberlain changed the tone of the fight.

 

Chamberlain got behind the jab in round two and began to pepper Crawford with it, each shot seemed to sap energy from the Uxbridge fighter. In round three a succession of uppercuts put Crawford down on the canvass and he was unable to answer the ten count. For Chamberlain now it has to be meaningful and competitive fights, it is the only way for him to progress.

 

Which brings us onto Lawrence Okolie, who TKO’d Russ Henshaw in round number one, making it four in a row since turning professional. Okolie and Chamberlain clashed in midweek at the public workouts and also fired shots on social media. Eddie Hearn knows that this fight is one the public wants to see and it makes perfect sense for it to happen either by the year end or early into next. Okolie is not being tested, he is knocking opposition over at will, and he does not need to be treading water at that kind of level. He does have a tendency though to eat punches due to his wild and erratic style which makes a fight with an opponent like Chamberlain even more appetising.

 

I’m all for building fighters and letting them develop but unfortunately there are too many of these cards now filled with noncompetitive fights where the progression of prospects is stagnated rather than nurtured.

 

The highly anticipated debut of Olympic Bronze Medalist, Joshua Buatsi ended in a second round TKO victory over Carlos Mena.

 

Buatsi has been surrounded in hype since it was announced he had turned professional and he wasted no time in delivering, drilling his opponent with excellent body work and combination punching. A brutal left hook to the solar plexus put Mena down hard at the end of round one and amazingly he managed to beat the count when seemingly he was done for, but his time was nearly up.

 

Buatsi continued his assault in round two and he felled Mena again with a crunching body blow. The Spaniard rose to his feet but Buatsi closed the distance and finished the fight with several unanswered head shots. The future certainly looks bright for Buatsi and even after one pro fight it is not beyond the realms of possibility to see him competing for titles sooner rather than later.

 

Morgan Jones remained undefeated with a third round technical knockout of fellow South African, Jade Karam. Karam went down heavy from a short right hook late in round number two and though he managed to beat the count he didn’t have enough time to recouperate in between stanzas. Jones was on his man from the bell to start round three and several thudding headshots was enough to halt the contest. Morgan is a 12-0 Super Middleweight prospect now and Area Titles at least have to be on the horizon.

 

 

Essex’ Danny Dignum went three and zero against Yailton Neves, but was forced to work hard over the four round distance. Neves was tough and gritty but he also possessed good head movement which in turn limited the clean work of Dignum. I’d say it was a little unfair to score the bout a 40-36 shutout as Neves had his own moments of success but the winner was never in any doubt. Dignum’s workrate saw him through but he was frustrated at times and resorted to wild lunging which allowed Neves to counter, that will have to be worked upon in the gym.

 

 




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