Despite having just a solitary KO victory on his nine-fight record, Sheffield’s Tommy Frank will soon start finishing more opponents early, believes trainer, Glyn Rhodes (pictured).
Frank headlines at his home city’s Ponds Forge Arena on March 15, fighting for the vacant Commonwealth Super Flyweight Title against Luke Wilton, live on Freesports (Freeview 64; Sky 422; Virgin 553; Freesat 252; TalkTalk 64; BT 64).
Rhodes, who trains Tommy out of the Sheffield Boxing Centre, says confidence is the key as he prepares to guide his fighter into his most important fight to date.
“Tommy’s a young kid, just turned 25,” explained former pro, Glyn. “This’ll be his tenth fight coming up. He’s a very good kid. He trains hard, is likeable and he sells tickets. So, fingers crossed, we’re looking forward to a bright future together, and a great journey. He’s topping the bill again in his home town, I think he’s done it three times now, and not many fighters can say that. Ponds Forge Arena is a great venue too, and some great local fighters have appeared there like Clinton Woods, Paul Jones, Ryan Rhodes, and Naz. I’ve seen some great fights there and am looking forward to this next show.
“Tommy’s power isn’t an issue. In the gym, he’s punching really hard. So you say to yourself, ‘why isn’t he knocking guys out’? The reason being that he just hasn’t got the confidence yet to plant his feet. It’s been safety-first tactics up to now, which I can understand because he’s only had nine fights. He has only stopped one guy but trust me he can punch hard. I’m not saying he’s a one-hit puncher but once he gets the confidence to stand and let his shots go, he’ll start stopping a few kids.”
Wilton will provide a real acid test for the ‘Steel City’ fighter. The man from Northern Ireland – with 26 fights (20 wins) under his belt – is far more experienced and has shared a ring with current world flyweight champion Charlie Edwards, former world bantamweight champ Lee Haskins, and former British and Commonwealth flyweight king Kevin Satchell. Wilton lost to all three, and if Tommy is to go anywhere in the sport then he will also need to chalk up a victory over the Belfast fighter.
“This is a very tough fight for Tommy. Luke is a tough kid, he’s been in with far more experienced fighters than Tommy has, and he’s only really lost to the best kids. It could be a banana skin fight for us. People have said, if you win all well and good, but if you lose you’ve put him in too early. But at what point do you let a guy off the leash? At Tommy’s weight, it’s not like you can pick and choose because there aren’t that many guys around.
“Luke is far more experienced but has always failed when it comes to top level, and Tommy is a top-level fighter. So, hopefully on the night it’ll work out OK. Luke is a come forward fighter, he’ll make a fight of it, and that’s exactly what we want. I think it’ll be great to watch because Tommy is a smart fighter, and Luke is a typical Irish fighter that comes forward. It’ll gel to make a great TV fight.”
Dennis Hobson Promotions, in association with JJ Crump, present an evening of boxing at Sheffield’s Ponds Forge Arena on March 15. Topping the bill will be Sheffield’s Tommy Frank and Belfast’s Luke Wilton contesting the vacant Commonwealth Super Flyweight Title.
Appearing on the undercard will be Manchester’s Michael Gomez Jr; Sheffield’s Kane Salvin, Keanen Wainwright; Chris Dutton, and Sufyaan Ahmed; and Sweden’s Redouane Kaya.
For ticket information, call 0114 243 4443.
The show will be televised live on Freesports (Freeview 64; Sky 422; Virgin 553; Freesat 252; TalkTalk 64; BT 64).