Tommy Frank goes into the unknown on Friday, September 20, when he faces Thailand’s Aran Dipaen at Sheffield’s Ponds Forge Arena.
The undefeated ‘Steel City’ fighter, 11-0 (3), is currently the Commonwealth Super Flyweight Champion but will face Dipaen for the World Boxing Council International Silver Super Flyweight crown.
Not much is known about the Thai fighter, but it seems that he pack a punch. The 28-year-old has been fighting professionally for less than a year but has already knocked out five opponents from his six wins, including an ‘on the road’ victory in Japan. Dipaen’s only defeat was in March, when he was having just his third fight.
Tommy, a huge Sheffield United fan, cannot afford to slip up if he is to go on and fulfil his ambition of fighting for a world title at Bramall Lane. Last time out in July, the 24-year-old stopped Tanzania’s John Chuwa in seven rounds, the only time the African, 17-4 (9), had been finished early. Ahead of his bill-topping appearance at Ponds Forge, trainer Glyn Rhodes (pictured) is warning his protégé that he will need to be fully focused on the task ahead.
Also co-headlining on the show will be the former British Bantamweight Champion, Josh Wale. The Barnsley favourite will be having his second fight at featherweight, where he is now competing and on the hunt for titles.
“It’s another unknown opponent, and all we can do is the same as everyone else, look on YouTube and look at his record,” explained Rhodes. “He looks like he’s a puncher, but what happens with these kids is that some come over and can be rubbish, while others can be real banana skins. So Tommy has to take this as if it’s a world title fight. He’s trained really hard, is on fire, has sold lots of tickets and is topping the bill in his home town – how good is that!
“The thing with these Thai guys too is that he might have only had seven pro boxing bouts but we all know that he will have grown up doing kick boxing and Muay Thai. He could have had a hundred Thai boxing bouts, so we really are in the unknown. But if Tommy is going to move to the next stage then he has to be beating kids like this.
“People have said to me that Tommy can’t punch, but he can. I see it in the gym and he hasn’t even got his man strength yet. The other thing he’s developing is confidence too. Whereas before he was a jab and mover, now he’s happy to plant his feet and let his shots go, and his last two fights have been stoppages. That’s what confidence does for you, we’re not looking for a stoppage against Dipaen, but if it comes then all well and good.”
Dennis Hobson Promotions, in association with JJ Crump, present an evening of boxing at Sheffield’s Ponds Forge Arena on September 20. Topping the bill will be Sheffield’s Tommy Frank and Barnsley’s Josh Wale.
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).