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FIGHT OF THE YEAR? Fight Academy’s Dennis Hobson has promised Tommy Frank he still has a big future in boxing despite the Sheffield man’s recent British Flyweight Title defeat to Jay Harris (May 5). In a fight-of-the-year contender, Frank put his belt on the line against Welshman Harris at the Rotherham Magna Centre with the result being one of the best fights seen in a British ring for some time. With all the action broadcast live by Fightzone and on BBC iPlayer, ‘Super’ Tommy started strong, pushed Harris back and caught his opponent flush on plenty of occasions, only for the Swansea fighter to weather the storm and begin to assert his authority on the contest. With more fights under his belt, including a world title challenge in 2020, Jay’s greater experience proved key as the battle raged on.  The 32-year-old took the sting out of Tommy’s work by catching shots on the gloves and arms, eventually wearing down the brave Steel City boxer to force a retirement in round 10. Despite defeat, and the loss of his Lonsdale Belt, manager and promoter Hobson believes Tommy’s stock has risen with his impressive performance, and says a move up in weight could be on the cards for the future. “If you look at Fight Academy historically as promoters, a defeat isn’t the end of a boxer’s career.  Just look at Tommy’s career, as an example – he’s had a couple of reverses before but we brought him back and got him the British Title.  Now he’s just lost that title in an epic fight but for eight rounds it was touch and go either way.  I thought Tommy was edging it but he stopped moving his head as much and got caught. “He’s a big lad to be making flyweight, and at the pace the fight was fought, something had to give.  Jay used his experience – with Tommy not as fresh as he was – and started to tee off a bit and soften him up.  Glyn [Rhodes] stopped it and gave Tommy the chance to fight another day. “We’ll find Tommy something else, he raised his level overnight and he’ll be a better fighter for the experience.  Maybe it’s time for Tommy to step up to super flyweight now, there are some smashing matchups there and we might have a route for him. “What a showcase for us as promoters though.  We had Conor Butler versus Craig Derbyshire recently in an absolute epic, and now we’ve just had this classic.  We’re putting proper fights on at Fightzone and we’ve had feedback from some really notable figures in boxing saying that our show was the best of the weekend.  Obviously with the show being on BBC iPlayer, we’re also starting to build a new audience and hopefully our kids will become household names. “It’s only May but there hasn’t been a better British fight this year and if any boxing fans haven’t had the chance to watch it yet, they should head over to Fightzone or BBC iPlayer and see if I’m wrong!”


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