Sheffield’s Tommy Frank is remaining philosophical after his dream world title fight was cancelled last month. Unbeaten Tommy, 13-0 (3), was scheduled to face Mexico’s International Boxing Organisation (IBO) Flyweight Champion, Maximino Flores, on March 27 at Ponds Forge Arena but, with the devastating effects of the Coronavirus pandemic beginning to take hold, saw his shot at moving onto the world scene scuppered.
Despite his disappointment, ‘Super’ Tommy says he is in good spirits. The 26-year-old – who is the IBO Inter-Continental Flyweight Champion, as well as the Commonwealth Super Flyweight belt holder – has a naturally positive mindset. The huge Sheffield United fan knows that his chance against Flores is still on the table, and the ‘Steel City’ fighter says his enforced break from boxing has even helped him to fall back in love with the sport.
“It’s a strange situation in general with everything that’s going on,” said Tommy. “You wake up and it seems like a dream. As a pro boxer, I’m used to being cooped up in the house after training, so that much hasn’t changed. But I am missing going to the gym and seeing everyone, like Glyn [Rhodes], Dennis [Hobson] and Steve [Crump]. We have to accept that this whole situation is bigger than boxing though, there’s bigger things going on in the world. I just wish for people’s safety, more than anything. There are positives from it though, like spending more time with loved ones. I’ve also been watching a lot of old fights, and I haven’t shadow boxed in the living room since I was about 12! So, it’s actually made me fall back in love with boxing a bit more.
“Of course, I was obviously massively disappointed at the time that the fight got cancelled, because I’d worked so hard. But I’m a big believer that all that work I put in isn’t lost; it’s all still in the bank and will pay off. I’ve just got to be patient, and it’s got easier as the days and weeks have gone on. I’m mandatory for the IBO world title and for Flores, so the fight still has to happen next, just at a later date. We want this IBO world title, and I just have to wait a little longer to get my hands on that belt.
“It is hard though. Ultimately, all boxers are self-employed, and if you don’t fight, you don’t get paid. So I spent money on a training camp, food, travel, and equipment, but I’m sure there are a lot of others fighters in that situation. Thankfully I’ve got a few sponsors who are loyal and look after me, and I’m especially grateful to them in times like this.”