Why British flyweight champion Tommy Frank says his belt is worth more than £1 million

Winning the prestigious British title and joining an elite members-only club in the process was the best thing to ever happen to Sheffield boxer Tommy Frank.

Thursday, 24th March 2022, 1:09 pm
Updated Thursday, 24th March 2022, 1:49 pm

After getting a taste for the big time, the 28-year-old flyweight from Intake wants to graduate from the small hall circuit and reach reach greater heights.

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"I want to win some big fights,” he says ahead of his first defence of the Lonsdale Belt against Craig Derbyshire at the Magna Centre on April 3.

British flyweight boxing champion Tommy Frank. Photo: Scott Merrylees.

"I do want to be a world champion one day, that’s the ultimate goal.”

Frank, who trains at Sheffield Boxing Centre under the tutelage of Glyn Rhodes and Sam Sheedy, has never boxed outside of Yorkshire as a professional, and only once out of his native South Yorkshire.

Nor has he had the opportunity to fight on an arena show, instead topping bills in leisure centres and function rooms.

"Moving past April 3, that’s where we’re planning on going,” he says.

Sheffield's Frank will make his first defence of the Lonsdale belt against Craig Derbyshire at the Magna Centre on April 3. Photo: Scott Merrylees

"After the last three years with Covid and my setbacks (back-to-back defeats to Rosendo Hugo Guarneros) I’ve brought myself back and became British champion.

"I’m in a position now to really push on, I’m craving the big platforms, big nights and bright lights.”

The prestige of Frank’s current strap, which he won at Ponds Forge in September, is not lost on him.

He describes it as ‘the ultimate prize of British boxing’ and adds: "If someone offered me £1 million for that belt I wouldn’t sell it.

"It’s more than a money thing, that’s history.

“All your great British fighters have won a British title. I was proud to win it, but I’ll be even prouder to defend it.”

Winning the oldest championship belt in boxing outright – he would need to make three successful defences – is in Frank’s sights, but that could clash with his mandatory shot at the European Boxing Union title, which would help his world title ambitions.

Before that, he must get past Doncaster’s Derbyshire, who he outpointed to win the Central Area super-flyweight title in 2018.

Frank’s promoter, Dennis Hobson, warns: “Nobody should misjudge Craig because of his record.

"He’s an English champion and and has just beaten a top-rated undefeated kid. This opportunity will be like a world title fight for him.”