Tommy Frank marks drop to flyweight by claiming IBO Intercontinental title

It was a case of new weight, no problem for Tommy Frank as he claimed the IBO Intercontinental flyweight title on Friday night.

Sunday, 1st December 2019, 12:26 am
Updated Sunday, 1st December 2019, 5:15 pm
Tommy Frank (right) with Martin Tecuapetla

The Intake fighter had dropped down from super flyweight to face Martin Tecuapetla of Mexico at Ponds Forge.

And in a performance packed with excellent defensive work and skilful simplicity on the attack, Frank claimed his third professional title and put himself on course for a potential push for an IBO world title in the future with a unanimous points triumph.

Tecuapetla was the aggressor for the majority of the contest but a rather wild and ponderous style proved very easy to telegraph for Frank.

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He commanded the centre of the ring and popped out the jab regularly and with good accuracy to keep his opponent at bay.

And when Tecuapetla did turn up the heat, he showed fine head and foot movement to take little punishment. He slipped shots superbly, particularly with Tecuapetla throwing out wide, searching hooks that were easy to spot. And he fired back with short, sharp hooks to end onslaught from the Mexican.

Any pressure that came on the ropes was managed well and with a great degree of composure from Frank.

Arguably he could have looked to turn up the pressure himself - and trainer Glyn Rhodes certainly thought so when speaking to him between rounds.

But the level of comfort through each round meant Frank did not really have to go in search of anything in order to secure the victory.

With Rhodes' words ringing in his ears he did let his hands go more in the later rounds but typically in short flurries, meaning thoughts of a stoppage did not hang around for long.

Tecuapetla demonstrated good resilience and a strong engine to keep the pressure on Frank until the end.

But in terms of fitness levels, it will be Frank taking away the biggest positives with no sign of trouble or fatigue despite the drop down in weight.

He walked away with scores of 97-94 and 97-93 (twice) to earn the win.

Barnsley's Josh Wale claimed a championship gold at a third different weight as he took the IBO International featherweight title in a gritty battle with Felix Williams of Ghana.

Wale - who has held titles at bantamweight and super bantamweight - showed his fighting man credentials with toughness on the inside.

The 31-year-old claimed scores of 99-91, 97-93 and a surprising 95-95 to give him a majority decision.

The controversial Kash Ali - trained by Sheffield's Richard Towers - marked a successful return to the ring for the first time since being disqualified for biting former Olympian David Price.

Ali stopped Artur Kubiak in the second of six scheduled rounds.

Sheffield was well-represented on the undercard.

Sufyaan Ahmed moved to 4-0 with a 39-37 while 19-year-old Kane Salvin picked up the same score against Daniel Alder for his fifth win from five fights.

Keanen Wainwright earned a shutout points win over Ivan Godor while cruiserweight Perry Howe was held to a draw on his debut against Nathan Junor.

And Nathan Owen made a successful start to his professional career by winning each of his four rounds against Edward Bjorklund at super featherweight.