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Callum Johnson vs. Frank Buglioni – Results


By Tim Royner: Unbeaten Callum Johnson (17-0, 12 KOs) jumped on British light heavyweight champion Frank Buglioni (21-3-1, 15 KOs) immediately on Saturday night and stopped him in the 1st round to win his British 175 lb. title at the O2 Arena in London, England.

Johnson, 32, knocked Buglioni down with a flurry of shots. When he got back to his feet, Buglioni was nailed several more times by big shots from Johnson, which promoted referee Victor Loughlin to stop the fight. The official time of the stoppage was at 1:31 of round 1.

In the opening seconds of the fight, Johnson rushed Buglioni and hurt him with a big right hand. Buglioni grabbed a hold of Johnson and tried to stop him from throwing shots. As soon as the two fighters were broken up, Johnson continued to pummel Buglioni with heavy shots to the head. Buglioni was up against the ropes when Johnson nailed him with a big right hand to the head that put him down on the canvas.

Buglioni, 28, complained afterwards that he was fine and he could have continued to fight. He says he wants a rematch with Johnson. The referee had no choice but to stop the contest, as Buglioni was badly hurt and on weak leaks in the final sequence. Had the fight been allowed to continue, Johnson would almost surely knock Buglioni down again. Buglioni was too hurt to defend himself. Moments after the fight ended, Buglioni staggered back to his corner. He was still badly hurt.

Buglioni should have been ready for Johnson to attack him hard in the opening seconds of fight, as he came into the fight with four knockouts in the 1st round in his last seven fights. Johnson likes to jump on his opponents and take them out immediately, and Buglioni looked like he was not ready for that type of fight.

Johnson will defend his British light heavyweight title unless something else comes up. If he can get a bigger fight, then he’ll move on. Buglioni doesn’t have the speed or the defensive skills to handle Johnson’s all-out blitzing style of fighting. That’s probably not going to change in the rematch if they face each other. Buglioni would be better off going in a different direction instead of taking a risk and getting knocked out a second time by Johnson. The way that Johnson beat Buglioni tonight, he would have a great chance of knocking him out in the 1st round in the rematch as well. That would be terrible for Buglioni’s career for him to lose twice in a row to Johnson by 1st round knockout.
Johnson was coming off a 1 ½ year layoff going into tonight’s contest with Buglioni. That’s not nearly active enough for a fighter 32-years-old. If Johnson wants to make something happen with the remainder of his career, he’s going to need to be lot busier than that.

The loss for Buglioni snaps a 4-fight winning streak. He was beaten by Fedor Chudinov by a 12 round unanimous decision in September 2015. Since that fight, Buglioni had beaten Olegs Fedotovs, Hosea Burton, Ricky Summers and Craig Richards. Johnson was well above those guys in the talent department. Buglioni’s other previous career loss came at the hands of Siarhei Khamitski in losing a 6th round knockout in April 2014.

Johnson looks like a good fighter, but he’s not nearly good enough to compete against champions Dmitry Bivol, Sergey Kovalev, Artur Beterbiev and Adonis Stevenson. To compete against those guys, you’ve got to be able to do more than just shooting for a quick 1st round knockout. You’ve got to have some technical skills, and you need to use strategy, because you’re not going to be able to lower your head and flail on those type of fighters to beat him. Johnson’s fight style worked tonight because he was facing a limited fighter in Buglioni, but against better fighters, you’ve got to do a lot more.

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