There was disappointment for Dennis Hobson and Steve Crump’s Fight Academy on June 18 with local favourite Tommy Frank going down to a points defeat to Hugo Guarneros at Sheffield’s Fightzone Arena.
Frank and the Mexican visitor went at it for 12 rounds for the International Boxing Federation (IBF) Inter-Continental Flyweight strap – the same title that was up for grabs last December when Guarneros beat Tommy on an injury stoppage.
This time around, ‘Super’ Tommy elected to counter punch on the back foot as Guarneros incessantly came forward and applied pressure. Many of the rounds were close and it was hard to split the pair but, at the final bell, two of the three judges favoured the Mexican’s work rate over Frank’s more eye-catching pot shotting.
The defeat is obviously a setback for the Sheffield fighter, 13-2 (3), who couldn’t hide his disappointment at the verdict, but at just 27 there is still plenty of time for him to rebuild. Guarneros, now 19-4-2 (9), is going to be a hard night’s work for many flyweights and could find himself in a rematch with IBF World Champion Sunny Edwards, who beat him in 2019.
Here, Fight Academy’s Dennis Hobson reflects on the show:
It wasn’t the result you wanted, Tommy Frank losing to Hugo Guarneros – was it a fair result?
"Yes, it was fair. We had the England versus Scotland match on the TVs at the venue, and I think that set the trend. The England game was flat and it seemed to have an effect on the fight. Tommy’s game plan of moving and frustrating Guarneros was smashing but he just didn’t kick on.
"I was really disappointed because I know Tommy can show more than that, he can dig in and he has a bit of spite but he never showed that side to him. Tommy has all the ability but didn’t quite deliver it on the night. He’s really upset about how it went. I thought he lost by a couple of rounds; the 117-112 scorecard was ludicrous but the 115-113 card was fair. It was a close fight but Tommy just didn’t ram it home in the championship rounds.
"I really rate Tommy. He’s a role model inside and outside the ring, a gentleman to work with and I like him a lot. We’ll get him back on track and on the world scene sooner rather than later."
What do you envisage as the next step for Tommy – a British Title shot, or maybe a third crack at Guarneros?
"What’s on the line is the British Title with Kyle Yousaf. I don’t know if I see the point of a third one with Guarneros. I believe Tommy can beat him but is he just destined not to? There might be a bit of psychology there. Tommy certainly could beat him but we’ve had two bites at that cherry so we’ll go back to domestic, hopefully win a British Title and then have a look around."
Moving down the card, Keanen Wainwright had a very good stoppage win against Irvin Magno?
"Yes, absolutely. Magno had a winning record and had never been stopped so it was a great win. Keanen was supposed to get some rounds in because he hasn’t been that active! He’s definitely one for the future and we may be stepping him up in his next fight. He’s starting to look the part, is charismatic and he can fight. He’s got a great future, his shots flow, he’s a southpaw and he’s heavy handed. He’ll be a handful for anybody."
Salford’s Jake Andrews made a winning debut and seems quite a character?
"He’s a great character with a story to tell. He takes each day in life as a bonus and he’s a pleasure. He loves a bit of fun, hopefully we can get him up there to win something and he’ll bring a lot of fans along the way."
Any standouts from the rest of the card?
"Michael Gomez Jr looked in shape and we’ve got a smashing fight between him and Kane Salvin in the future for an Area Title or maybe even the English belt, I’m looking forward to putting that together.
I was also really pleased for Perry Howe who got his first stoppage. He’s an ex-military lad and has a great fanbase.
As a stable we’ve got some smashing fighters coming through and we’re going to have some great nights. We’ve just signed Jack Massey who’ll be fighting in an IBF European Title fight on July 2nd, so we’ve got some great action lined up.
The shows we’ve put on so far have been first class. The Fightzone production has been excellent and the feedback from everybody has been brilliant. We’re getting fighters out and giving them work, and we’re doing what most of the other promoters in this country aren’t, which just goes to show what a big player we are. We’re hopefully going to take some of these fighters all the way to world titles, that’s my aspiration."
This Friday’s show (June 25) is headlined by Hamed Ghaz and Liam Shinkwin in an English Lightweight Title eliminator – how much are you looking forward to it?
"Very much so. Because we’ve created such a special venue and atmosphere, and because they are topping the show on Fightzone – I think it will bring out the best in them. It’s a smashing match and will be another great top of the bill. Every headline fight we’ve put on has been quality which just shows you don’t need an Anthony Joshua or Usyk to get real boxing entertainment. For just £4.99 a month, or just over a pound a week, to be able to watch the shows we’ve put on live every Friday is fantastic value."
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Photo: Sporting Captures