Hammer-hooking Enfield super-middle Frank Buglioni believes the power of his mind, as well as the power in his fists, will see him lift the WBA world title on Saturday evening.
Known as ‘The Wise Guy’, the modern thinking former Westminster University undergraduate has recently embraced hypnotherapy in the hope of defying the bookmakers who list him as a 7-2 outsider.
Fighting on home court at Wembley’s SSE Arena, the 6ft 1in north Londoner enters with significant physical advantages but the smart money still favours unbeaten Russian champion Fedor Chudinov, a former world junior champion, to retain his belt.
The Anglo-Italian’s mentor Steve Collins, a former two-weight world champion who – in tandem with brother Packy Collins – school’s Buglioni at the Celtic Warriors gym in Dublin, had a black belt in ring psychology.
Twenty years ago, the hardy Irishman utilised the darker side of hypnotherapy to completely spook Chris Eubank, prior to inflicting the ‘Monocled Mutineer’s’ first career loss in Millstreet.
‘I wanted every aspect of my preparation to be 100% but it was only once I passed 30 that I could afford professional help,’ recalls Collins, who scalped Eubank and Nigel Benn twice each before retiring as undefeated champion.
‘I had difficulties concentrating in camp so the sports psychologists would lie me down, put me in a state of hypnosis and relax me. It eliminated unwanted distractions.
‘Chris previously tried to upset and undermine opponents but I told him the hypnosis would prevent me getting cut, tired or hurt. I not only convinced myself I was going to win, I convinced Eubank!’
The 26 year old Buglioni intends to accrue similar benefits in what is easily the stiffest test of his 17-1-1 career.
‘Steve knows full well about being the underdog. His knowledge been has really helped in this camp,’ he claims.
‘This is a top, top fight so we’ve pulled out all the stops. I feel fantastic.
‘I am actually using the same psychologist (Anthony Heary) that Steve used for the Eubank and Benn fights. I’ve used him for the last two camps and it’s made the world of difference. I probably should’ve used him earlier.
‘I’m seeing him a couple of times a week and sessions can last anything from an hour to an hour and a half. It’s the equivalent of doing a ten round spar without the physical.
‘It doesn’t really matter what anyone thinks outside of myself and Chudinov. It’s going to be the fighter who sticks to his game plan and remains focused who will come out victorious. I’ve come on in leaps and bounds. I’m relishing the opportunity and I’ve never felt more confident.’
Fedor Chudinov v Frank Buglioni for the WBA World Super-Middleweight Championship headlines the huge ‘Man vs Machine’ boxing event from Wembley Arena on September 26th.