Meng’s a cut above in blood-’n’-thunder defense
Meng Fanlong lived up to his “Cold Blood” nickname at the Monte Carlo Casino in Monaco on Saturday night.
The 30-year-old light heavyweight from Inner Mongolia, who represented China at the 2012 London Olympics, administered a bloody beating to Frank Buglioni, retaining the International Boxing Federation’s intercontinental championship by stopping the Englishman on cuts in the fifth round.
Meng, who improved to 14-0 with 9 KOs, was coming off a TKO win over Chris Eppley in July in what was his first bout of 2018. He fought three times in 2017 and four times in 2016.
Saturday’s bout opened with Buglioni (22-4-1) pressing the action while southpaw Meng was comfortable countering off his back foot.
In the fourth round, Meng started to load up and scored heavily on the inside, slicing a deep cut on Buglioni’s nose.
Meng continued to land his right jab with deadly accuracy in the fifth, sitting down on his punches and forcing Buglioni to try to counter while backing up.
Midway through the round, the shorter Englishman was on the receiving end of a vicious left hook that ripped a huge gash over his right eye.
The bout was temporarily halted to allow the ringside doctor to assess the damage, but when the action resumed, Meng pounced like a panther, slamming a half-dozen unanswered punches into Buglioni’s cuts before the referee waved it off.
“This was a great opportunity and I am very pleased with the result,” Meng said afterwards.
“My training camp went great, and I have the highest respect for Buglioni. I wanted to put on a good show because boxers prove themselves in the ring. I hope everybody will remember my name after what I accomplished here.”
Meanwhile, unbeaten Chinese heavyweight Zhang Zhilei was forced to pull out of the semi-main event in Monaco after sustaining a training injury.
The 6-foot-6, 260-pound southpaw from Zhoukou, Henan province, was scheduled to defend his WBO Oriental title against 6-foot-8, 275-pound Alexander Ustinov of Russia, who instead lost to Michael Hunter (16-1) of the US.
Meng Fanlong, China’s IBF intercontinental champion