WILL TOMMY FRANK BE SHEFFIELD’S FIRST BRITISH FLYWEIGHT CHAMP?
Tommy Frank will face a rejuvenated opponent in Matt Windle but will still have enough to beat the Brummie battler, believes trainer Glyn Rhodes.
In a fight that British boxing fans are really looking forward to, Frank and Windle will clash for the British Flyweight Title on September 18 at Sheffield’s Ponds Forge Arena. The contest is chief support to heavyweight Kash Ali defending his International Boxing Federation (IBF) European Title against big-hitting German, Roman Gorst, 7-1 (6), with all the action broadcast live on the new home of British boxing – Fightzone.
Windle, 6-3-1, has the wind in his sails after a terrific ‘fight of the year’ win over previously unbeaten Neil McCubbin in June. Although the smaller man – Windle prefers to operate at light flyweight – Matt is used to battling bigger men, and Rhodes says he is expecting the best version of Windle to turn up in his first attempt at the Lonsdale Belt.
A big flyweight – Tommy is the former Commonwealth champion at the weight above – Frank is facing some pressure ahead of the biggest fight of his career. The genial ‘Steel City’ man, 13-2 (3), is far more experienced than Windle but cannot afford another loss after recent back to back defeats to Mexico’s Hugo Guarneros.
‘Super’ Tommy’s split decision loss to Guarneros in June was a contentious one, with corner man Rhodes still convinced that his man had done enough to win. All water under the bridge, the Sheffield team know that the only fight that matters is the one in front of them, and Rhodes believes this is the perfect time for Tommy to make Sheffield history.
“If and when he wins the title he’ll be the first ever British Flyweight Champion from Sheffield, so that will be some feat,” said Glyn.
“Tommy’s coming off two controversial losses, but Dennis [Hobson] has stuck with him and managed to get him this massive opportunity. With other promoters, if a fighter loses they often get chucked by the wayside – so, it’s an unbelievable thing to do from Dennis, because every fighter wants that Lonsdale Belt.
“I thought Tommy won the last fight with Guarneros; there was such disparity between the judges scorecards. How can three people judge a fight and one have Tommy so far in front, and the others behind. I’m experienced in the corner and from my view, Tommy was doing the better work and scoring with the cleaner shots – but that’s all history now.
“Once a fighter gets a British Title fight they raise their game. Matt Windle will be training hard and we’re expecting a great fight on the night. They’ve sparred together before and it was great sparring. Matt will bring his ‘A game’ but Tommy has a lot more experience, he’s done a couple of 12 rounders and been in with tougher opposition.
“There’s more pressure on Tommy in this fight because he can’t afford a third loss. At 28, having boxed at the level he has, he can’t afford any slip ups. But neither can Matt. Tommy’s boxed at international level, been Commonwealth champion and I’m sure he won’t want to drop back down, so he needs to raise his game for this fight. But I think it’s the same for Matt, if he loses where does he go? It’s a great fight and a really important one for both of them.”
Fight Academy present an evening of boxing on Saturday September 18 at Sheffield’s Ponds Forge Arena. Topping the bill is Rotherham’s Kash Ali defending his IBF European Heavyweight Title against Germany’s Roman Gorst. Chief support is the British Flyweight Title fight between Sheffield’s Tommy Frank and Birmingham’s Matt Windle.
Also on the undercard will be Grimsby’s Levi Giles; Charlie Schofield from Chorley, Lee Reeves of Limerick, Manchester’s Michael Gomez Jr, Nav Mansouri from Rotherham, and Sheffield’s Muheeb Fazeldin, Perry Howe and Shakiel Thompson.
For ticket information contact 0114 243 4443.