Dennis Hobson’s latest show served up a night of mixed fortunes for the Sheffield-based promoter.
Headlining at Sheffield’s Ponds Forge Arena on Friday October 12, live on Freesports (Freeview 95, Freesat 252, Sky 422, BT 95, Talk Talk 95, Virgin 553) were local fighters Loua Nassa and Tommy Frank, who both faced Tanzanian opposition in Commonwealth Title eliminators.
Nassa took on Nasibu Ramadhan in a bantamweight affair, while super flyweight Frank had to negotiate the challenge of Adam Yahaya, 18-3-1 (7).
Both men were in TV-friendly encounters but only unbeaten Tommy, 9-0 (1), survived unscathed, picking up a wide points victory over his African opponent. Unfortunately, Ramadhan, 26-12-2 (14), proved too strong for Loua, 11-2, stopping the local favourite in the eighth round.
“I think Loua approached the fight all wrong from the first bell,” reflected Hobson after the show. “He knew he was fighting a southpaw, but he didn’t seem to be taking any instructions in. I was obviously disappointed in the outcome. He showed naivety, it’s obvious he needs more experience, and for me he needs a lot more sparring quality. Loua does have a lot of ability, but he played right into his opponent’s hands. He kept throwing himself in, shortening his shots when he should have used his reach, and from the first bell he was loading up. He kept getting clipped, it softened him up and obviously he got stopped. He threw caution to the wind and committed professional suicide by not using his attributes. I admire Loua a lot but he needs to go back to the drawing board. We’ll sit down with him and his trainer Ryan [Rhodes] and see where we go from here.
“Tommy Frank conducts himself so well as a man, and he takes that maturity into the ring. He left nothing to chance, there were times when he might have stepped up the gas a bit more when he seemed to hurt the kid. But I think we have to give him a nine and a half out of ten, and the half is just because he didn’t get the stoppage, although he was close.
“What’s next for Tommy? There could be a chance of making a fight with the Commonwealth champion Andrew Moloney, we’ll let things develop. We’ve just stepped Tommy up a level, and I think we might want to look at a couple more fights before we go for a Commonwealth Title. But he has put himself in the frame, and at these lower weights you can get catapulted quickly. We could go for the Commonwealth belt, and I think Tommy is capable of upsetting anybody, or we could go in a different direction, get some more experience and start collecting titles. That would be my preferred option, and if the Commonwealth Title happens to be one of them, then so be it. I believe Tommy has all the attributes to get onto the world scene.”