FORMER British light-heavyweight champion Hosea Burton will return to action on Saturday at the Manchester Arena against Kristof Demendi on the undercard to gym-mate Anthony Crolla’s clash with Ricky Burns, but he remains focused on securing a rematch with Frank Buglioni.

Buglioni stopped Burton in the last round of their fight of the year contender last December, a defeat that “The Hammer” puts down to inexperience. However Burton remains convinced that Buglioni was fortunate to claim the belt and that he would stop the Londoner if they meet again.

The 29-year-old, 19-1 with 9KO’s, has now added a strength and conditioning coach to his team adding that he is already reaping the rewards in training and punching harder than he was before. He is hoping a win on Saturday will kickstart his rise back to the top of the domestic scene.

“It’s good to be getting back in there on Saturday and I can now start working towards getting Buglioni back in the ring. He’s already turned down the rematch on the Wembley bill from earlier this year for good money and I would fight him at a week’s notice, as that belt doesn’t belong to him.

“Frank didn’t beat me that night. I lost to myself. I was a minute away from going home with my title and that upsets me. I was never hurt and lost due to inexperience and fatigue. I won every round from one to 10, before he pushed me down in the 11th and got the stoppage in the 12th.

“What happened there was I went in for the stoppage with my hands down and he clipped me. It wasn’t a massive shot, I had taken bigger ones earlier on, but I was fatigued and he caught me high on the head. I was never knocked out, never have been, but the referee was doing his job and stepped in to protect me and do his job, which I don’t blame him for.

“In 20 fights as a pro, I’ve probably only lost four rounds, but now I have a loss on my record to someone who can’t beat me. Look at his face after and then at mine and you can see he was the beaten fighter. I was fine, but it was one of those things and it will drive me on to get that title back.”

Since the loss to “The Wise Guy”, Burton won a points decision over Tamas Kozma back in March before a fight with the highly touted Anthony Yarde was called for by the board, a challenge that Burton welcomed. However, Yarde went another route and Burton is still waiting to secure another significant fight.

He is also certain that another of his gym-mate’s Callum Johnson will pick up where he left off later this month in Cardiff against Buglioni, by stopping him in their British and Commonwealth title clash on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s meeting with Kubrat Pulev.

Burton is adamant that no matter what he will not fight Johnson and was less than complimentary about Buglioni’s last performance against Ricky Summers, where the current British titleholder retained his title by unanimous decision in July.

“When the fight with Yarde was called, I was happy because I wanted to take him on. There is a lot of talk about him and he’s being billed as something special, but to me he just looks like a novice who can punch a bit. Look at his stoppages, they always get back up and are always on their feet when the referee steps in and I know he wouldn’t get close with me.

Hosea Burton

“He turned down £100k for what they said was an easy fight and why would you do that? There’s no way I would ever turn down that amount of money and I would have stopped him. The division is hotting up and I want a significant fight next, but I’ll see where it lies after Callum Johnson stops Buglioni.

“Me and Callum are close friends and a fight between us is not going to happen. It’s one of those things and we wouldn’t disrespect each other by discussing it. Callum will knock Frank out, as Frank won’t get any better than he did against me, which was his career best performance and he still lost nearly every round.

“Last time out against Ricky Summers, he was poor. Ricky gave him all the trouble he could take and he got caught far too often. Yet, he got the win which for someone who is just tough and fit is good enough. I will fight him at the drop of the hat and I promise I will knock him out next time.”