Sheffield boxing champion delays retirement decision as Daddy-daycare beckons

Most professional boxers agonise over the decision they all eventually face: Is it time to hang up the gloves?
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In Sheffield, Kell Brook has seemingly been wrestling with the dilemma ever since tempting suggestions were made that he could mount a high-profile comeback. A few miles down the road, Tommy Frank, who captured British and Commonwealth titles, is approaching a retirement decision of his own. But he's not stressing about it. His partner is due to give birth to their daughter this week. And, frankly, everything else can wait.

Frank, at 30, has achieved a lot and can afford to look back at some memorable achievements. On the other hand, he may have something left to prove - Covid KO'd his chance to fight for an IBO world title, four years ago. But the father-to-be is content with his life, right now.

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"Initially I had planned to take a rest after the last couple of fights didn't go my way," said the Sheffield Boxing Centre fighter (W15 L4 D1.)

Tommy Frank Pic by Trevor FrenchTommy Frank Pic by Trevor French
Tommy Frank Pic by Trevor French

"I felt a bit burned out; more mentally than physically.

"It was sort of an accumulation of training non-stop for the past few years, even during lockdown.

"It was nothing major but after the last couple of fights, I thought I would take the opportunity to have a time-out and a re-charge and rest.

My other half Charley will be bringing a baby girl into the world and that cemented the decision to take some time out. I am always training and looking after myself, but at this stage, I don't know if I will come back or not," said Frank, from Intake.

Tommy Frank with boxing pals including his idol Herol Bomber GrahamTommy Frank with boxing pals including his idol Herol Bomber Graham
Tommy Frank with boxing pals including his idol Herol Bomber Graham
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"If I do decide to box again it is going to be a re-build job, I'd take a couple of six or eight rounders and I think there will be opportunities there for me, but I will be moving up to super flyweight as flyweight has been getting harder to make over the years."

Frank says he has been "on a good journey with Dennis Hobson (promoter) and there still might be a bit more added on but even if there wasn't it is a rare thing winning British and Commonwealth titles.

"A lot of fighters just bypass that, these days. I'm very proud of having those proper titles."

Frank was frustrated about losing an opportunity to compete for an IBO belt in 2020. With 10 days to go a proposed Ponds Forge duel with Mexican Maximino Flores, was canned because of lockdown restrictions.

Dennis Hobson, right, and Tommy FrankDennis Hobson, right, and Tommy Frank
Dennis Hobson, right, and Tommy Frank
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"It was the fight that never was" he recalls. "Obviously I do have thoughts I could have been a world champion - financially it would have helped.

"And I have had other bad luck, too. I tore my rotator cuff in a fight (versus Rosendo Hugo Guarneros; IBF Inter-Continental Flyweight contest) and boxed maybe five rounds with one hand until Glyn (Rhodes; trainer) pulled me out. But I live my life in a positive way and always look on the bright side.

"I am very busy with sessions as a qualified personal trainer and where I am right now...well, I wouldn't change anything."

Promoter Hobson is content to await the SBC fighter's eventual decision.

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"I am not bothered if he doesn't come back, as long as he is happy. He has been a British and Commonwealth champion, I am proud of him, and love him as a kid. If he came back I will look after him; if not we have had a nice journey between us and he's been great for Sheffield."

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