Sheffield’s Tommy Frank will fight for the vacant World Boxing Council International Silver Super Flyweight Title on September 20 at Ponds Forge Arena, live on Freesports (Freeview 64; Sky 422; Virgin 553; Freesat 252; TalkTalk 64; BT 64).
The ‘Steel City’ fighter will take on Thailand’s Aran Dipaen, who will arrive as an unknown quantity and could prove a ‘banana skin’ encounter for the likeable 26-year-old. Dipean, 28, only turned pro this year but has quickly racked up a 6-1 ledger, with five of his six wins coming by KO, and already has an ‘away from home’ victory, after winning in Japan in June.
Undefeated Tommy, 11-0 (3), is currently the Commonwealth champion, blitzing Belfast’s Luke Wilton in four rounds in March to win the title, and was last out in July, beating Tanzania’s John Chuwa inside seven. The huge Sheffield United fan will be hoping to add another belt to his collection, and could have the extra incentive of some Blades players ringside for the occasion.
The 26-year-old was initially looking to take the IBF route towards Filipino champion Jerwin Ancajas, but has switched his focused towards the green and gold belt, currently held by Mexican Juan Francisco Estrada, who defended his championship just days ago against Dewayne Beamon in his hometown of Hermosillo, winning in the ninth round.
Also topping the bill in a co-feature, will be Barnsley’s Josh Wale, 28-11-2 (14). The former British Bantamweight Champion is now operating at featherweight and still in the chase for titles to cap off an already successful career. Josh was also a winner in July, beating Tanzanian fighter Ekow Wilson in a Commonwealth Title eliminator.
“There’s some tough kids come out of Thailand, and he’s a bit of an unknown quantity,” said promoter Dennis Hobson about Frank’s opponent. “We don’t know a lot about him, but he’s coming to win because it’s a potentially life-changing opportunity for him. So, Tommy needs to be on top of his game. It’s a new title opportunity, and we’re looking to build up his experience by fighting another foreigner with a different style.
“It’s a potential banana skin fight for Tommy but I believe he has the ability to cope with all sorts of styles. If this opponent is heavy-handed, which it seems he is, then Tommy will cope with it. At this weight division there aren’t that many kids about but we’re plotting Tommy’s path and hopefully he goes onto the world scene, but this is the type of fight that will help tell us more.
“If Tommy does win this title, then he gets ranked higher by the WBC. We’ll see what sort of statement he makes and how that impacts on his ratings with the organisation. We’ll then take it from there, but at some stage I’d like to have a look at Kal Yafai, if Tommy fulfils his potential, like I think he will.
“Tommy’s a true professional and he’s getting Sheffield United behind him now. I’ve spoken to [manager] Chris Wilder and he wants to bring a few players to the next show, and he wants the fans to get behind Tommy because he’s a genuine Blades fan. And United’s success is coinciding with Tommy’s success.
“We don’t have an opponent yet for Josh, we’re still working on it, but he should be fighting a 10-rounder. Josh is a quality fighter and could top any bill because of his experience and style of fighting. I love watching him and he’s never in a dull fight. I’m looking forward to getting him a big fight. He was in a final eliminator for the Commonwealth Title in his last fight, so that could be on the cards in the next one. Hopefully well get him topping the bill in Barnsley soon, and winning another title, because I still think there’s a lot of mileage in him.”
Dennis Hobson Promotions, in association with JJ Crump, present an evening of boxing at Sheffield’s Ponds Forge Arena on September 20. Topping the bill will be Sheffield’s Tommy Frank and Barnsley’s Josh Wale.
For ticket information, call 0114 243 4443.
The show will be televised live on Freesports (Freeview 64; Sky 422; Virgin 553; Freesat 252; TalkTalk 64; BT 64).