Why a Sheffield boxing manager pulled his own fighter out of a derby fight

Tommy Frank
Tommy Frank
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Glyn Rhodes has revealed he went against his own boxer’s wishes to pull him out of a planned derby fight.

The Sheffield Boxing Centre boss stepped in despite Tommy Frank’s acceptance of an English title fight against fellow city fighter Kyle Yousaf on a Stefy Bull bill.

The British Board of Control had sanctioned the fight, but Rhodes, after some thought, decided it could present health risks to his 25-year-old fighter in making the eight stone weight.

Frank had won the Central Area Super Flyweight Title in April at just over eight stone two pounds. But says Rhodes: “Making weight is the hardest and most dangerous thing boxers do and I pulled him out because I thought he’d struggle.

“He said: ‘I can do it’ at the time when there wasn’t anything else on the horizon. But I wasn’t convinced and rather than waiting two weeks before the fight, pulled him out. “It might only be a couple of pounds but it makes a difference around those smaller divisions and as you get older it gets harder.”

Frank has now been replaced on the bill by Derby’s Conar Blackshaw, at Barnsley Metrodome, on October 5.

Tommy Frank - should be back in the ring soon, but not against Kyle Yousaf

Tommy Frank - should be back in the ring soon, but not against Kyle Yousaf

SBC gym is only just recovering from the death of Scott Westgarth.

Rhodes said: “I didn’t pull him out because of that, Scott did everything and make the weight perfectly. But at the back of your mind you always think first about preventing even the possibility of future tragedies and as I am Tommy’s manager I did what I thought was best for him.

“He’s probably got a mump on with me - but I’m not in this to be popular. It would have been a good fight for Stefy and his man, but it wouldn’t have been for us.

“Kyle has moved on with a new opponent, which we’re glad about. Now we’d like to see Tommy against someone like Brad Watson, who knocked out (Sheffield’s) Lous Nassa (in February.)

Kyle Yousaf on the attack - Pic By James Williamson

Kyle Yousaf on the attack - Pic By James Williamson

“Tommy has got a good future ahead of him,

“He lives right, he doesn’t go out boozing and cruising. And he showed me that he had bottle in his last fight (his first stoppage, against Steven Maguire in Leeds last month) and we’ll get him out again as soon as we get the right opponent.”

Frank has eight wins on his record, while Yousaf, also 25, has 13.

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