By Steve Bateson: Frank Buglioni’s career suffered another setback as he was on the wrong side of a technical knockout against China’s Fanlong Meng, the bout stopped after five rounds due to a terrible cut over Buglioni’s right eye.
The Londoner, looking to get his career back on track after a devastating one round knockout against Callum Johnson earlier this year, was struggling to get to grips with his Olympian opponent before the stoppage but he has been known to grow into fights so we’ll never know what could have been.
Buglioni started on the front foot, looking to push Meng around the ring, but the former Olympian, Meng, was able to establish his southpaw jab early doors and was displaying excellent use of the straight left hand. Buglioni was aiming for the body, putting it in the tank for the later rounds, but occasionally his head movement was letting him down and he was caught by a sharp uppercut on the inside at the end of round one.
Meng was showing great fundamentals and timing of distance, working off the ropes with a left hook counter midway through round two. Both fighters were beginning to swap exchanges but it was Meng landing the more telling blows, Buglioni’s shots were glancing and he was still failing to move his head out of range.
Buglioni looked stronger in the third and was applying more intelligent pressure, forcing Meng on the backfoot whilst catching him with bodyshots on the ropes. Buglioni then caught his man with a stiff left hook and although many of his punches were still being caught on the gloves he was showing a desire to be busier.
But as soon as he had the upper hand it was gone again in the fourth as Meng wrestled control back. The Chinese fighter was straight to work with an impressive right hook, left uppercut combination and then another left hook from range that snapped Buglioni’s head back. Buglioni was looking a little ragged at this point, his nose busted from constant bombardment, although he landed a neat left hook in response it did nothing to quell the dictatorship of Meng.
Round five started with a burst of exchanges, both men seemingly happy to swap power punches, before an ugly cut opened up over the right eye of Buglioni. It was unclear whether it was caused by a clash of heads or a punch but the blood was pouring profusely. The ringside doctor checked and deemed Buglioni able to continue but soon after they resumed the referee called for a second check. Meng had been peppering the cut with every shot and this time the doctor made the call that Buglioni could not continue.
Meng improves to 14-0 (9 Ko’s) whilst Buglioni suffers the fourth loss of his professional career. It may be that a rematch is pursued down the line but it is more than likely that Buglioni’s team, once the cut has healed, will direct their man back to the domestic scene for the time being in order to restore some confidence in their charge.