Moments ago in Monaco Chinese hopeful Meng Fanlong (14-0, 9) [孟繁龙] secured his first defense of the IBF Inter-Continental Light Heavyweight title and recorded his best win to date, as he stopped Englishman Frank Buglioni (22-4-1, 16) in 5 rounds.
Meng looked like he was tuned in from the opening round. He used his southpaw left to really pick away at Buglioni as the Englishman came forward, and used the jab to both penetrate the guard of Buglioni and also confuse him, varying it's speed and power well.
Buglioni tried to up the pace in round 2 and had mixed success, as he began to take more shots, leaving more openings from Meng to counter. It wasn't until round 3 that Buglioni really managed to get some success, upping the tempo significantly and letting combinations go. It was a risky strategy but one he had to use given how Meng was controlling him with such ease. It was Buglioni's best round of the fight.
Sadly for Buglioni him having his best round seemed to force Meng to move into a new gear. The Chinese fighter, who had been happy boxing off the back foot early on, moved onto the front foot, and took the fight to Buglioni, who was left cut on the nose. Meng had started to land not only straight punches but also started to make more and more use of his right uppercut, which Buglioni failed to avoid.
Buglioni's face was starting to show more and more effects from the head shots he was taking, with cuts on both eyes, especially the right hand. Those cuts would see him being taken to the doctor, and the doctor would stop the fight on the second inspection, due to a very nasty cut over the right eye.
With the win Meng takes a huge step towards a potential world title fight.
This coming Saturday we'll see Chinese fighter Meng Fanlong (13-0, 8) [孟繁龙] make his first defense of the IBF Inter-Continental Light Heavyweight title, as he takes on Englishman Frank Buglioni (22-3-1, 16) in the wonderful principality of Monaco. At the time of writing the Chinese is the under-dog for that bout, but is regarded as a very live one by the British bookies, who have their countryman as the favourite.
The English fighter is currently best priced at 4/7 to win the bout, with other bookies having him at 1/2. The Chinese fighter on the other hand is widely available at 13/8, with others having him at 6/4 to pick up the win. The best odds on the draw are currently 25/1, though some bookies have got the draw as low as 20/1.
At the moment very few book makers have got odds up for "method of victory", though they are available if you look around. The odds on a Buglioni stoppage are 11/8, like playing on the idea that Meng has been dropped by a much lesser puncher than the Englishman. A decision win for Buglioni is 11/5. On the other hand a win inside the distance from Meng is 10/3 whilst a decision win for Meng is 6/1.
Interestingly this bout does have a "To go the Distance" market available. The bout going the distance is available at 11/8 whilst the bout concluding early is available at 8/13
We're expecting to see some shift in the odds as we head to fight time, though these are all accurate at the time of writing (9:27am, UK time on November 23rd)
end the on going talk about Zhilei facing off with Anthony Joshua, a bout that Sky had been behind but now looks to be a delay, if even still on the mind of those connected to Joshua.
The issue won't effect Meng Fanlong (13-0, 8) [孟繁龙], who is still expected to take on Englishman Frank Buglioni (22-3-1, 16) on the show.
We want to thank Jia Chuntian for breaking this news.
Earlier today Matchroom Boxing announced the line up for their next "Monte Carlo Boxing Bonanza" show, set to take place at the Monte Carlos Casino.
The card, or rather the 4 bouts announced for it, featured a less than great line, but did include a couple of Chinese fighters in what will be a chance to impress a new audience.
One of the Chinese fighters is unbeaten Light Heavyweight Meng Fanlong (13-0, 8) [孟繁龙], who will be taking a huge step up in class to take on popular Englishman Frank Buglioni (22-3-1, 16). This is a really stiff test for the unbeaten Chinese southpaw, but an upset win would see him boost his profile in the west and likely climb up the IBF rankings, where he is currently ranked #12. For Buglioni this is a great chance to get himself back into the world rankings.
The other Chinese fighter is unbeaten Heavyweight Zhang Zhilei (20-0, 16) [张志磊], who is taking on 41 year old giant Alexander Ustinov (34-2, 25). Zhilei, an Olympic Silver medal winner, has been linked to a fight in 2019 with Anthony Joshua and it seems like this is a chance for him to shine in front of an British and American audience against an opponent with a known name and to build his profile. Ustinov was last seen in the ring last November, when he lost to Manuel Charr and we're not expecting him to look particularly good here against the unbeaten Chinese fighter.
As well as the two bouts with Chinese fighters there was two other bouts announced. One of those will see Russian Cruiserweight Denis Lebedev (31-2-0-1, 23) taking on unbeaten American Mike Wilson (19-0, 8) whilst the other will feature WBA Super Flyweight champion Khalid Yafai (24-0, 15) defending his best against Israel Gonzalez (23-2, 10), who was beaten by Filipino Jerwin Ancajas back in February and is a very underwhelming challenger for the English champion.
Earlier today fight fans, worldwide, had the chance to tune into a Chinese stream on the Sina website. The card wasn't a huge one but it did feature 3 title bouts, all of which were won by Chinese fighters who may find themselves moving towards bigger and better fights later this year.
The highest profile of the bouts was a Heavyweight clash that saw Zhang Zhilei (14-0, 10) [张志磊] make light work of Australian Peter Graham (11-4-1, 5), and claim the WBO Oriental Heavyweight title. Graham had talked the talk before the bout but was down twice in the opening round, and stopped in the final seconds of the round.
Another unbeaten Chinese hopeful picking up a title was Meng Fanlong (10-0, 7) [孟繁龙], who easily saw off Gasan Gasanov (12-5-1, 10) to claim the WBO Oriental Light Heavyweight title. Gasanov had been in good form, winning his last 4 by stoppage, but failed to last even a round with Fanlong who needed just 112 seconds to score the stoppage. Sadly for the Russian this was his 5th stoppage loss, and it seems clear that he hasn't got the toughness to take a shot, despite having some decent power of his own.
The most interesting of the title bouts saw Wang Zhimin (8-1, 3) [王志敏] claim a wide decision win over Thai Patomsith Pathompothong (16-7, 6) [ปฐมสิทธิ์ เกษตรพัฒนา], to claim the WBO Oriental Super Lightweight title. Zhimin dropped the Thai in round 3 then went on to dominate the fight with the Thai failing to even claim a share of a round en route to a decision that saw Zhimin win with cards of 100-89, from all 3 judges.
(Image courtesy of Sina)
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!