Exclusive: British champion Buglioni assesses rivals, airs views on Burton, Johnson and Yarde

Joe Hewlett 25/01/2018

The potential for some huge domestic dust-ups has never looked brighter than in 2018 for the light-heavyweight division.

British champion Frank Buglioni will take on Commonwealth champion Callum Johnson on the undercard of Dillian Whyte and Lucas Browne at the 02 Arena.

Fellow rivals Anthony Yarde and Hosea Burton will be waiting in the wings, to determine who really is the king of Britain.

And ahead of his bout on March 24, Buglioni gave his honest assessment on who he rates the most out of the trio.

He exclusively told World Boxing News: “I’d say for me personally, Hosea Burton. He’s the most awkward and well-rounded fighter. I can’t say too much about Anthony Yarde because I haven’t seen him in a hard fight, so we don’t know if he’s complete hype or there’s a bit of substance to back him up.

“At the moment though, I have to go with Johnson as he’s done it as an amateur, winning the Commonwealth gold and got through Willbeforce Shihepo. He’s been tested at a high level and got through it, I rate him second to Burton.

“Callum Johnson brings another title and an undefeated record to the table, he’s a solid, credible opponent, and I’m looking forward to fighting him.

“You have to rank Yarde at the bottom out the three because as I’ve said, he hasn’t done anything wrong, but the level of opposition has been very poor, so we can’t get an accurate reading of how good he is.

“They’re entitled to their opinion and I’m entitled to mine. I just speak honestly and openly and that’s always been my way. You’ve asked me who I think is the best out of those three fighters and I have to say Burton because that’s my honest opinion, but he has flaws, weaknesses to expose to which I did, and I’d certainly be confidence of doing a better job the second-time round,” he added.

The ‘Wise Guy’, who remains undefeated since deciding to move up from 168lbs, produced a sensational comeback to defeat Burton in their grudge match back in 2016.

The Londoner won in Rocky Balboa fashion, flooring Burton twice before winning the contest via a twelfth-round knockout. And he’s admitted to relishing a rematch against the Joe Gallagher fighter.

“That’s the route I want to go down, whether he steps up to the plate is another thing. He was calling me out, full well knowing I had a mandatory, I didn’t really wanna fight him because he had a defeat on his record but once I’ve got Callum Johnson out the way and won the British title outright, I’ll take on anyone.

“I’m not running away from any of these challengers. They’ve gone a little bit quiet recently though, they’re not calling me out as much as when they knew I couldn’t take the fight,” Buglioni concluded.

Joe Hewlett is lead writer for World Boxing News. Follow Joe on Twitter @Hewlett95