Saturday, September 30, 2023  |



Saunders, Buglioni and Chisora all score stoppage wins

Fighters Network
Saunders (R) remains on course to face WBO 160 pound titleholder Andy Lee on September 19.

Saunders remains on course to face WBO 160 pound titleholder Andy Lee on September 19.

Talented British southpaw Billy Joe Saunders kept his WBO middleweight title shot against Andy Lee intact by scoring a fourth-round stoppage over French journeyman Yoann Bloyer in London, England, on Friday.

Saunders, rated No. 5 by THE RING at 160 pounds, dropped Bloyer twice in the third with perfect left hand uppercuts. The visitor did well to survive that session but a right hook, followed by a straight left down the middle floored Bloyer again in the fourth and the referee wisely halted the action.

“I needed to brush off a little ring rust but I’ll be a different animal in my next fight,” said Saunders when interviewed by BoxNation in the U.K. “Andy Lee is a good champion, a very good fighter, but I’m here to do one thing and that is to smash him up and take his world title.”

The unbeaten Saunders (22-0, 12 knockouts) was clipped by a pair of nice right hooks from his southpaw opponent before lowering the boom. When he does take on Andy Lee, a very powerful left-hander, on September 19, in Limerick, Ireland, that is the one weapon he would do well to avoid.

Lee, who is rated No. 2 by THE RING at middleweight, won the WBO title last December by stopping the heavily favored Matt Korobov in six rounds. In April, his first title defense against Peter Quillin was reduced to a non-title affair when the American failed to make weight. The bout was declared a draw.


Super middleweight prospect Frank Buglioni, from London, also marked time ahead of his scheduled clash with Fedor Chudinov by stopping Mexican trial horse Fernando Castaneda in five.

Buglioni (17-1-1, 11 KOs) ended a one-sided contest when a left hook set up a hard right hand to the side of the head. Castaneda, who weighed in a full seven pounds over the super middleweight limit, collapsed face first and although he tried to beat the count his legs were rubbery and the bout was called off.

“That was a just a fraction of what I’ve been achieving in the gym,” said Buglioni. “Fedor Chudinov is next and he’s in a world of trouble come September.”

Following a bad stoppage defeat at the hands of Ukrainian danger man Sergey Khomitsky, Buglioni hooked up with former two-weight world titleholder Steve Collins and his brother Paschal. The new training team has focused on refining Buglioni’s game and tightening up his defenses, although he still looked leaky during a 10-round draw with Lee Markham in May.

Chudinov, who is rated No. 9 by THE RING at 168 pounds, was actually due to face Buglioni on this card but the unbeaten Russian sustained a badly broken nose in sparring and the bout was postponed. It will now take place on September 26 in London.

Former world title challenger Dereck Chisora needed precisely 29 seconds to dispose of one Beqa Lobjanidze at heavyweight. The enigmatic Londoner landed a massive overhand right to the jaw and there was no way his opponent was ever going to beat the count.

This was Chisora’s first outing since he was stopped in the 10th round of a rematch with Tyson Fury last November, and the 31-year-old still retains some ambition.

“I would like to fight for the European title against the guy who knocked out David Price,” said Chisora in reference to a proposed match up with German knockout artist Erkan Teper, who stopped Price in two rounds last week.

Tom Gray is a member of the British Boxing Writers’ Association and has contributed to various publications. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing