In his first fight since inking a five fight deal with promotional powerhouse Golden Boy Promotions, undefeated Australian super featherweight ‘Wild’ Will Tomlinson 21-0-1 (12) will make his USA debut this Saturday night in a 10 round bout against Jerry ‘The Corpus Christi Kid’ Belmontes 18-3 (5) on the undercard of the all-Mexican showdown between Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Alfredo Angulo at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Tomlinson, who moved to the United States in mid-2013 to chase his boxing dreams, promises to impress the Mexican fans with his relentless pressure and blood-and-guts style.
In this interview Tomlinson discusses relocating to the States, hooking up with trainer Manny Robles, how he sees the fight against Belmontes playing out and who he hopes to target for a world title shot in the future.
Anthony Cocks: You moved to the USA last year after outgrowing the domestic scene here in Australia. Was it a hard decision to move halfway around the world, away from family and friends, to pursue your career?
Will Tomlinson: Yeah of course it was hard. But for everything good in life you have to make sacrifice and do the hard yards to get where you want to go. And for me I want to fight at the top level in the world of boxing, so no doubt I had to make the move to the US.
AC: After landing in L.A. you hooked up with trainer Manny Robles and well-known Australian expat Justine Fortune to assist with your strength and conditioning. How has it been working with both guys and can we expect to see a different Will Tomlinson on fight night?
WT: When I came to the US I did not have a trainer or promoter, I had to start from scratch and rebuild a complete team. Obviously my first piece of the puzzle was my boxing trainer. I was lucky to be introduced to Manuel Robles who is a very experienced trainer he's very passionate about his craft and he works us really hard. I think under his guidance I can only get better. I have used Justin Fortune as my strength and conditioning coach for this fight we have been working really hard as well. He has got me super fit and strong and ready to go March 8
AC: Signing with GBP was a big coup and you’re now making your Stateside debut on one of the biggest cards of the year so far. Tell us a little about your relationship with Golden Boy and how the signing came about.
WT: As I said before when I came to the US I did not have a promoter so I had to shop around and try and get signed. Lucky for me I already have an established career behind me so it was an easier process approaching potential promoters. I spoke with pretty much every promoter in the US but obviously Golden Boy being my number one pick, that's who I chose to sign with. I think they are the number one promoters in the world they promote the biggest fighters on the biggest stage and that's what I came to America for.
AC: I have seen plenty of your fights and the two words I associate with you are "pressure" and "blood". You pressure your opponents and you frequently get cut in bouts. How do you think the US-fans will react to your style of fighting?
WT: I think they will enjoy my style of fighting, I'm an aggressive go forward puncher who goes on a seek and destroy mission every fight. There may be a bit of blood in the process but that's all good at the end of the day, I will still get the job done. One thing I can guarantee my fans is that they will always get their money's worth.
AC: Your opponent on 8th March isJerry Belmontes. Have you seen much of him and how do you think your styles will mesh?
WT: I have watched a small amount of footage on him he is a pretty slick fighter with a good kit of punches, however I think I will physically and mentally be a lot stronger than him and I plan to put lots of pressure on him make him fight me and eventually break him down.
AC: There was some criticism of your win over Malcolm Klassen last time out, with a number of observers feeling Klassen deserved the nod. Looking back on the fight, what did you take out of it?
WT: The only of observers who thought Klassen deserved the win were the ones watching it on TV and where influenced by the way the commentators commentated the fight, they were extremely biased towards Klassen for some reason. In my opinion I clearly outworked him and won by about three or four rounds I have watched that fight over and over and hand on heart I can say that I felt I won. And anyway I actually fought the fight and nobody knows who won more than the two lads in the ring and again I know I won.
AC: It will be almost 10 months since your last fight when you step into the ring. Are you worried about ring rust?
WT: It will not be a problem at all. It’s not like I have been on holidays for the last 10 months, I have been in the gym basically every day bar the month I took off after my last fight. I have been getting great sparring with a great mix of boys so March 8 you will see me at my best.
AC: What do you rate as your best professional win so far?
WT: The win over Klassen would be up there with one of the biggest wins of my career, however the win over Alan Herrera when I initially won the IBO world title was one of my favourite fights. It was an absolute war and one that I can say I was proud to win.
AC: You’re aiming for a title shot sooner rather than later. Out of the current champions – WBC Takashi Miura, WBA Takashi Uchiyama, IBF Rances Barthelemy, WBO Mikey Garcia – do you have a preference who you would like to fight?
WT: If I could get a shot at any of the champions out there right now it would be Takashi Miura the WBC champion. It is my dream to not only fight for a WBC title but win it as well and I think I am more than capable of beating Miura for his belt, so that is definitely a fight that I hope Golden Boy can guide me towards in the near future
AC: Any final words for your Australian fans who are looking forward to your ring return and US fight fans who may be seeing you in action for the first time?
WT: To all of my Australian fans, thank you so much for your ongoing support. Every time I get into the ring I fight my heart out to put on a good show for you guys. And to all of the US fans who will see me fight for the first time, I look forward to putting on a memorable performance for you and hope you all enjoy.