Boxing has turned many a young man’s life around.
And Sheffield’s Anthony Tomlinson is certainly an example of that.
He started his boxing career later than normal at 22 - after a troubled background and a stay of incarceration at Her Majesty’s pleasure.
But now at 26 he is doing well in his chosen sport, winning his first four fights and aims to thrill his growing band of supporters in his first home town appearance at Ponds Forge on February 2.
Tomlinson, who turned professional just 14 months ago, said: “I was a naughty kid but that was in the past and now I want good things in my life. A lot of people are shocked when they find out I only laced my hands up four and a half years ago.
“It started when I turned up at Dennis Hobson’s gym in Gleadless and fell in love with boxing.
“I moved on to work with Stefy Bull in Doncaster, I won the Yorkshire Belt at 69 kilos in the amateurs with him and have been with him as a pro for a year now. In my last fight, (v Poland’s Marcin Ficner; Doncaster Dome) I had him down in four seconds of the first round finishing it in 1 min 32 secs. The power came through - I am a puncher.
“My other three wins were comfortable and now I am stepping up two weights from super lightweight to super welterweight for my next night - Stefy was struggling to find opponents at my level at the lower weight.
“I am not scared of fighting anybody - and I am not scared of losing, either.”
His Ponds Forge opponent is MJ Hall from the Midlands, who has a losing record, but Tomlinson says: “He has never been stopped, if I could do that, it would be a huge statement for me. I have a big family and friends and sell a lot of tickets, which I am grateful for, and I want to play a part in a good show with Josh Wale (headlining) Kyle Yousaf and Loua Nassa.”
Tomlinson, originally from Norfolk Park, says his manager will move him on to six round fights after next month.
“I have got a lot of confidence and I want to be picking up titles soon.”