FORMER two weight world champion-turned trainer Steve Collins feels his charge, Frank Buglioni, has announced himself on the world stage after losing to Fedor Chudinov on Saturday [September 26].

The Enfield slugger turned in a valiant performance to last the distance with Russia’s WBA ‘world’ super-middleweight champion Chudinov, but was widely outpointed.

Collins, who assists his brother Paschal in the training of Buglioni, remained upbeat after the contest.

“I couldn’t be more proud of him. He answered a hell of a lot of questions tonight, most people were expecting it to be over by four rounds,” he told Boxing News.

“Chudinov is a great fighter, but he raised his game because Frank made him raise it. People questioned Frank getting a shot at Chudinov but he proved he belonged there.”

Buglioni wobbled the champion at the end of the sixth and dropped him with a punch after the bell, resulting in a two point deduction.

The 26-year-old maintains he did not hear the bell and so thought he was free to continue his assault, and Collins agrees.

“It was mayhem, the crowd were going nuts and it was very difficult to hear the bell. If it was 15 seconds earlier, Frank would be world champion right now.”

Though he came up short, Buglioni’s stock has risen given his stupendous bravery and Collins has high hopes for the future.

“He’ll only learn from this. The ‘Wise Guy’ will get wiser. He proved all of his doubters wrong in there, no one expected him to put up that kind of a fight, except for us. We know what he can do and he’ll come back stronger from this.

“The great thing about Frank is that he doesn’t need boxing, he wants boxing, so he’s in it for all the right reasons. He lives the life of a warrior. He’s an Anglo warrior, but he’s come over with us Celtic warriors. Tonight, he showed he has the heart of a warrior.”