He who dares wins, but bravery proved insufficient for Frank Buglioni who was unsuccessful in his world title challenge against WBA Super-Middleweight champion Fedor Chudinov, in front of a packed crowd at Wembley Arena on Saturday.
Buglioni, 26, trained by former World Super-Middleweight Champion; Steve Collins and his brother Pascal, began the fight brightly. In the first round, Buglioni was mobile, boxing from distance and tucking in his chin to avoid the champion’s punches. This was perhaps his best round as Chudinov began to exert his influence on the fight from the second onwards.
On the surface, Chudinov seems one dimensional as a fighter. His boxing skills appear rudimentary, relying on a basic one-two combination to inflict damage on his opponents. However as he demonstrated against Buglioni, the simplicity of his style belies his accuracy and ring general-ship. Chudinov was effective at cutting off the ring, closing the distance and walking down the challenger. In the fourth round, Chudinov performed a nice turn to slip a Buglioni combination and get back into position to land his own punches.
Chudinov’s performance may have been economical but his accuracy meant that by the sixth round he was having success landing right hands on Buglioni. Buglioni flurried at the end of the sixth, and a right hook after the bell dumped Chudinov on the canvas.
Buglioni immediately raised his hands in the air acknowledging his error but the referee signalled to the judges at ringside to penalise the challenger two points for foul play. The momentum had swung in Buglioni’s favour and he was determined to stop Chudinov in the seventh. He could not find the punches to stop the champion who recovered to take the round.
Another flurry at the end of the eighth appeared to rock Chudinov but he retaliated in the ninth with a right hook to the body that forced Buglioni to get on his bike and remain mobile for the rest of the round.
By the tenth round it was apparent that Buglioni was exhausted. Buglioni relied on his upper body movement to avoid heavy fire from the champion. At the end of the tenth he fired off one big flurry but it had no impact. Buglioni kidded Chudinov with weak knees in the eleventh but by then the fight was beyond his reach.
A final flurry in the twelfth failed to produce the much needed knockout victory for the Londoner and Chudinov won by a unanimous points decision with the judges scoring it 120-106, 118-108 and 117-109 respectively.
Cynics will argue, that there is no victory in defeat, but at the very least Buglioni enhanced his reputation by demonstrating his punch resistance. He was fortunate to receive a world title shot this early in his career, having previously never held a domestic title. He appears to have improved significantly under the tutelage of the Collins’ brothers and his focus for the next year should be on the domestic super-middleweights division which currently enjoys an abundance of talent.
On the undercard, Bobby Jenkinson stopped Lewis Pettitt in the eleventh round to become the Commonwealth Super-Bantamweight champion. Heavyweight Dereck Chisora won a laboured ten rounder over Marcelo Luiz Nascimento. Ryan Walsh outpointed Samir Mouneimne to claim the vacant British Super-Bantamweight title and Dubliner Jaime Kavanagh won a six round points decision over late replacement Reynaldo Mora.