Joshua vs Molina: Frank Buglioni stops Hosea Burton in thrilling British light-heavyweight showdown
By Matt Horan
Last Updated: 11/12/16 4:23am
Frank Buglioni settled his rivalry with Hosea Burton after a dramatic twelfth-round stoppage to claim the British title at the Manchester Arena.
The two light-heavyweights produced a thrilling and hard-fought battle before Buglioni (19-2-1-KO15) found a winning right hand in the final minutes of the fight that had the unbeaten challenger down and then waved off moments later.
The pair have had a spiteful rivalry since their amateur days and a heated verbal exchange at the press conference ahead of fight night only added to the needle.
The fight had it all, with former super-middleweight world title challenger Buglioni cut in the sixth, while Burton fell to the canvas in the penultimate round before a dramatic late finish.
Both men started the fight with intent, but it was the champion who found his rhythm the quicker, landing a succession of clean right hands in the first.
Having felt the power of Burton, Buglioni decidedly started to march forward and become the aggressor in the next couple, creating a relentless pace, lashing in punches from close range.
The fight was quickly becoming a gruelling and action-packed encounter as the momentum ebbed and flowed between the two light-heavyweights.
Burton hoped to keep things at range, firing out a swift left jab as his right hand continued to breach the guard of the 'Wise Guy', but Buglioni continued his assaults and a late flurry in the fifth epitomised his efforts.
As the contest reached its mid-rounds, blood started to stain the faces of both fighters, but it was Buglioni who had the more serious issues with a nasty cut over the left eye.
After a doctor's inspection, the Londoner perhaps sensed the fight may be taken out of his hands and came out in the seventh firing on all cylinders, but the champion showed his metal and rode the storm.
From there, Burton, 28, got back on top and a series of unanswered shots in the ninth followed by a classy uppercut in the tenth outlined his championship status.
There were plenty more twists to come though as Buglioni found another gear in the eleventh that forced Burton down, before a huge overhand right left the champion down and then unsteady on his legs in the last, enough for the referee to wave off the contest.
Speaking to Sky Sports afterwards, Buglioni said: "I've been working hard for five years, plenty of ups and downs, and I've finally got the British title. It was a hard fight, but I dug deep and grinded it out.
"Going into the last, I felt i needed the stoppage. Full credit to Hosea Burton, he showed tremendous heart in there. Great skills and he's definitely improved. It was a great fight for the fans, so why not do it again."