- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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Former pound-for-pound king Roy Jones Jr. continues to fight as he pursues a cruiserweight world title shot, and he also has a gig as a ringside analyst for HBO. But he also continues to dabble in training fighters.
Jones’ latest pupil is secondary super middleweight titlist Fedor Chudinov, whom he is training for his first defense, which will come against England’s Frank Buglioni (17-1-1, 13 KOs), 26, on Sept. 26 at SSE Wembley Arena in London.
Jones spends a lot of time in Chudinov’s home country of Russia and also has a close relationship with Chudinov’s promoter, Vlad Hrunov.
“Fedor is doing great right now and we’re preparing to come over to England and win the world title,” Jones said. “Buglioni’s a very good and very smart fighter and Fedor has to learn that although Buglioni is taller than him, he has to make Buglioni reach down with his punches to bring him closer to him to unload his own punches. If Fedor stays high then it will be easier for Buglioni to reach him.”
Jones, who briefly trained then-junior welterweight titlist Jessie Vargas, said he likes Chudinov’s aggressive style but he wants to add to it.
“What I want to do is to teach him left and right head movement to slip punches more because right now he’s a little straight up,” Jones said. “He’s got great footwork. I love his footwork, mix it in with the left and right head movement, with the footwork so he can roll under Buglioni’s punches and he uses his feet to get away. If he can improve his head movement he’ll be in great shape.
“I believe that Fedor will win without a problem. I think he can catch him late with some good body work.”
During his heyday a fight many wanted to see Jones have was one against former middleweight and super middleweight titlist Steve Collins. Jones will finally oppose him, but as trainers in the opposite corners. Collins trains Buglioni.
“It will be interesting seeing Steve. He’s a great guy. But this fight is all about Fedor and Buglioni,” Jones said.
Chudinov-Buglioni was initially scheduled for July 24 but Chudinov (13-0, 10 KOs), 27, suffered a broken nose during a sparring session and the fight was postponed. Chudinov claimed the belt by upset split decision against Felix Sturm in Germany on May 9.
Jones (62-8, 45 KOs), 46, is scheduled to fight in Liverpool, England, on Sept. 12 against 42-year-old Tony Moran (15-6, 5 KOs).