Nothing quite excites in the boxing world like a young gifted
fighter who comes to fight.
Enfield's 22-year -old super-middleweight prospect Frank
Buglioni is fast becoming just that, but explains that while he is
happy to be labelled one of British boxing's rising young talents,
he is happy to learn the hard way.
Hard work and dedication, two essential ingredients are needed
in a sport that can often be the most challenging and headstrong of
athletic endeavours, but this alone does not guarantee success in a
sport as demanding and sometimes pitiless as boxing.
Frank Buglioni is only too aware of this, and is determined not
to leave anything to chance, as he progresses on a path that will
hopefully one day lead to titles, and recognition amongst British
boxing fans that he was a fighter that left it all in the ring.
Frank is at the TKO gym in Canning Town, East London where he
has just finished being put through his paces by his coach, and
former east end fighter Mark Tibbs - push ups, press ups, skipping
and banging away at punch bags in determined fashion is just part
of his daily routine.
The bandages are still on his fists and sweat drips off him as
he winds the clock back to his amateur days whilst not always
believing boxing would be his future path.
"I was always into different sports as a youngster" he says.
"Football, swimming a bit of everything really. I wanted to use
boxing as a tool to keep fit and boost my performance and it wasn't
until a guy my dad worked with, Lee Hirst, introduced me to a
trainer to do a bit of boxing and pad work with him. And after a
year I liked it so much that I decided to join a club and pack all
the other sports up and go from there."
Frank then went from strength to strength having close to 70
amateur bouts with only 10 losses on his slate, stopping over 50
per cent of his opponents in the process. Headstrong and with a
willingness to fight all comers, the young prodigy from Enfield
still holds fond memories of his days in the vest and head guard in
an amateur career that started late compared to some.
"I joined Repton when I was around 16 or 17" he recalls "I went
in the novices for them and won that and then a couple of years
later I went in the NABCs and I won that with Repton. I then
boxed for England a few times, then went into the ABAs where I got
beat by Kirk Garvey who then went to the final, and got called up
for the GB trials around a year later, done really well at the
trials and managed to secure a place there."
The Enfield man then recalls his decision to ditch his vest for
the pro ranks whilst conceding that it was a tough decision to go
pro with the London 2012 Olympics fast approaching in his home city
for the first time since 1948.
It was something he always knew would happen with his all action
come forward aggressive style more suited to the pro game.
"It was between me and Anthony Ogogo as we were both vying for
that number one position when I was in the GB squad doing well, I
went to the Commonwealth feds and got a silver medal there and had
a few good wins, training hard and looking good and then Ogogo
started to catch up and get a few chances.
"We had a box off in November of last year and he beat me on
points and since then I felt like I should make the decision.
As I could keep chasing and waiting for my chance again or go pro,
but I always knew in my heart of hearts that I was going to make a
better pro than I did an amateur. My stance and my strengths have
always been suited to the pros as I wasn't the fastest amateur but
I was always strong and tough and could hit hard."
Frank then comes back to the present and his psyche switches
back to the friendly, well-spoken pro that is now wasting little
time in establishing his name among the country's brightest
He put pen to paper last summer, signing with Frank Warren, and
is now making great strides as pro, going 3 - 0 so far with two
quick-fire stoppages to his name, stopping Sabie Montieth for the
first time on his pro debut. Whilst halting tough battle hardened
Paul Morby in one, with only durable Ryan Clark has heard the final
bell thus far.
"I was over the moon with my debut. I didn't expect the knockout
to come so early if I'm honest as we knew Sabie was strong and
tough from clips we had seen before of him, me and Mark both knew
he was better than his record suggested," Buglioni recalls.
"The Morby fight was very rewarding as he is normally a guy who
does not get stopped and has shared the ring with some quality
fighters whilst usually going the distance, but the shot landed and
he wasn't able to recover in time.
"The Ryan Clark fight was good experience as it was the first
time I had been taken the distance and he did what he had to do to
survive. He caught me with a couple of shots but I won the fight
comfortable and felt good in there the whole way through and was
happy to get a few rounds under my belt."
Mark Tibbs is son of the legendary east end trainer Jimmy Tibbs,
who has guided fighters such as Nigel Benn, Chris Pyatt, Charlie
Magri, Barry McGuigan, and Frank Bruno to world title glory.
He knows only too well what it takes to reach the top and
believes that in Buglioni he has a fighter who, providing he
listens, trains well, and lives the life could be knocking on the
door for titles in the near future.
"Franks a great talent and a dedicated trainer, he listens well
and responds to every bit of advice you give him. He is a much
better boxer now than when he was an amateur "he explains "he keeps
on improving with every fight and every training camp. Within the
next 12 - 18 months, if he continues to improve the way he has
been, the aim would be to have him in some sort of title
And with improving and stoppage victories, comes a growing fan
base. The 'Buglioni Army' as they call themselves continues to grow
as Frank grants that it only helps the cause come fight night, as a
solid 300 strong descend onto the venue of his fights and cheer him
from the stands as he goes into battle and compromises that his
growing fan base is a big incentive for him to put on a show once
the first bell goes.
"It's all friends and family" laughs Frank "the supporters stem
from that and my brother, he brings about 20 or 30 of his mates
along and they create a great atmosphere and all put their team
Buglioni t-shirts on and everyone gets involved. Then you get all
my friends from different areas they all bring in more and more,
all my family, my dad and all his friends come down so it's really
starting to branch out and I love every one of them that come
The super-middleweight is also aware that he currently resides
in one of the hottest divisions both domestically and on the world
stage. As he acknowledges that learning the ropes, tough sparring
and competitive fights are a must if he is to ever fulfil his
undoubted potential. He talks in an upbeat tone as he lists both
Arturo Gatti and Oscar De La Hoya as his two favourite fighters,
whilst being enticed by the Sugar Ray Leonard and Roberto Duran
trilogy that had the boxing world gripped in the early 80's, and
admits that he keeps a keen eye on his division on both sides of
the Atlantic whilst hoping that one day he sees his name up in
lights on the big stage.
"Super middle is a great division at the moment and I don't want
to look too far ahead as I am only 22 and still maturing; you're
probably looking at Andre Ward as one of the pound for pound best
in the world at the moment. He is a great fighter and I love
watching him fight. Then there is the likes of Carl Froch and
Lucian Bute a close second, both great fighters and all different
styles as well so it's really interesting. I think De Gale and
Groves within a year, two years I think they will be doing really
well on the world scene I have a lot of respect for them two
fighters and both have different strengths in different areas. I
will keep my feet on the ground continue to work hard in the gym
and push myself with Mark and Jimmy and who knows."
By Chris McCarthy