Tommy Frank: A New Weight, A New Beginning
By Paul Oltai
This Friday in Sheffield at the Ponds Forge Arena on a Dennis Hobson show we will see live on Freesports Tommy ‘Super’ Frank fight in his 13th professional bout, this time for the vacant IBO inter-Continental flyweight title.
His opponent former IBF light flyweight title challenger Martin Tecuapetla may not have to spotless record of some but will still pose a tough stern test for Frank in what will be his first pro fight at this weight.
Having previously fought all 12 fights at super flyweight. Frank with the help of his new nutritionist Lee Rickards who also helps maintain the Sheffield United first team with nutrition felt making flyweight would be comfortable and give Frank an advantage once weighed in and hydrated.
Building up a fair collection of belt it feels like Tommy is placing himself well within multiple ranking bodies and aiming to grasp any opportunity that may come his way.
We chatted about how camp has gone and what he hopes for the near future including his post fight food celebration
I see you are dropping in weight for this fight Tommy, any particular reason?
‘Yeah flyweight for this one pal, I have boxed at super flyweight all my career so far but what happened was before last fight when I started working with Lee Rickards the Sheff Utd first team nutritionist. I made super flyweight the best I have ever done it, so I actually said to him if I get an opportunity down at flyweight could I make it?
‘He said yeah and that I would be a lot stronger and then it just so happened that Dennis got me this chance down at flyweight for this IBO inter continental belt.
‘So this is what we are going for next, I have been flying through my check weights with IBO and BBBoC and everything is on track and looking good mate.
‘I can’t thank Lee enough really, diet is a massive part of boxing. We are in a sport where you have to make a certain weight to be able to compete, so your nutrition and diet plan is key.’
You see a lot of fighter make weight but do it badly which then goes to show in the fight, have you felt this will be the opposite having Lee working with you and hitting the new weight?
‘What it is with a lot of fighters is they leave cutting the weight until the last minute and that is where it drains them most. Doing that can massively drain you and leave you in them championship rounds, especially after a hard fight feeling it, so I think the way that I am and the way I train and even in between fights I am always ticking over and making sure I am not putting too much weight on.
‘So then I can just do it a lot more gradually through camp bring a little off at a time. It is definitely the healthiest way for me anyway.’
Do you know much about your opposition?
‘To be fair we have studied him quite a bit, and like I have said before though there is not much point of going too deep and catering your camp around one fighter because you can study them night after night, but then on the night he might come out and do the exact opposite of what you thought he would.
‘I just make sure I do what I need to in the gym so I can be the best I can be, but you know we have had a little look at him and he is rugged and comes forward and seems fairly easy to hit but tough as well. We are confident in what we are working on and will see how it all unfolds on the night.’
I see you are back at the Ponds Forge Arena. It seems to becoming a second home for you at the moment, what keeps taking you back?
‘Yeah my last like 5 or 6 fights have been there now, and it really is a good venue. It’s in Sheffield and I get to top the bill again in my own city, so I think what we are doing is building up to the really big nights.
‘We won’t be boxing in Sheffield for every fight and ultimately my goal is to box in Vegas one day, but what I think we are doing in preparing for big nights in big arenas by topping the bill in my own city.
‘Ponds Forge has been a great stage to build up on for that, especially with next year 2020 it is going to be a massive year for Fight Academy and all involved. A lot more exposure and things like that. So really exciting times ahead mate.’
If you can build a good base there then they will want to travel with you as well, is this what you are aiming for?
‘Exactly, that is exactly what we are doing. You know building that fan base and hopefully keep getting bigger fight by fight. I still try and keep close to the people the ones who have always supported me.
‘I will always fly round all locals pubs in area putting my fight posters up and speaking to punters and stuff like that. I think that is why I am generating a bit of a following. I think people can see I am just a normal Sheffield lad just trying to do something myself and provide for my family.
‘Even with Sheff Utd as well that is great because they are also wanting to get behind me more so I am having a great time working with them having been a fan all my life.’
‘I remember when I first turned pro and I boxed in a little 6 rounder in Leeds, and I still took a couple of bus fulls of people and you know I wrote down everyone who came to that fight and just to remember who came with me. Then when I do start boxing on these big events and tickets are limited they are the people who will get them tickets, the ones who have supported me all the way through.’
So if you win Friday where do you see yourself going from here what can you see going into 2020?
‘In all honesty mate straight after that fight I can see mince pies, I can see chocolate cake, I can see just all the stuff I have had to sacrifice leading up to this fight. I am listening to Christmas songs in car and people are having hot chocolates and stuff and I can’t have any of that so after this fight I am going to have a well deserved break and obviously I will still in the gym ticking over as I do.
‘I am going to enjoy Christmas with my fiance and then hopefully in the new year Dennis and Steve will have something big coming up for me. As always it is up to them what they have in store for me and I will be back into camp early next year.
‘First I want this new IBO belt, my missus Charlie is going to be fuming because the house is piling up with new belts. I am going to have to find a place where we are both happy with them.’
As always with boxers who are trying to make it to the top they need a helping hand with sponsorship and Tommy asked me to personally thank those who have been with him along the way.
These are Nick Firth Tiles, G Siddons Civil Engineering, Innovations Alloys, Worksop Timber Company and Autobarn. Without these he knows he could not do what he loves to do and box full time.
(FightPost will be live from ringside tomorrow night in Sheffield)