By Sean Crose
In an age of Adrien Broners and Tyson Furys, it’s refreshing to have a guy like Wil Tomlinson stepping onto the scene. The native Australian will be entering the ring this Thursday night in the Freeman Coliseum, located in San Antonio, Texas, to face the undefeated Francisco Vargas live on HBO Latino.
But don’t expect Tomlinson to start hamming it up.
“I let my fighting and the boxing do the talking,” he says. “My A-game is naturally exciting.”
Indeed it is. They don’t call the guy “Wild Wil” for nothing. Here is an individual who truly likes to mix it up and never bore an audience. “It’s great for the fans,” Tomlinson says good-naturedly, “not so great for me.”
Yet Tomlinson is more in control than one might imagine. He may be wild, but he isn’t about to get in the ring and toss punches off haphazardly. When it comes to facing the 21-0-1 Vargas, for instance, the 23-1-1 Tomlinson plans on doing more than just charging forward without a plan.
“Find my timing,” he says, thoughtfully thinking ahead. “Find my range.”
Sure enough, Tomlinson respects Vargas, and with good reason. “He wouldn’t be where he is today if he wasn’t a great fighter,” claims Tomlinson. “We’re basically tailor made for each other.” So much so, it seems, that Tomlinson isn’t thinking beyond what’s right in front of him.
“Honestly man,” he says, “I’m not looking one second past Vargas.”
Still, a guy can certainly dream.
“My goal is to crack the American boxing market,” Tomlinson admits. It’s hard to blame him. The United States is historically the home of boxing, even if in recent years sell-out crowds in huge soccer stadiums for big fights in Germany and England have challenged the hegemony of US boxing. Still, even super middleweight icon Carl Froch longs to end his illustrious career with a bout in Las Vegas.
For now, however, Tomlinson plans on focusing solely on the man he must face this Thursday in San Antonio, Texas. It’s a big fight, and with HBO Latino broadcasting it live, Tomlinson will find himself under some truly bright lights.
“I’m not nervous,” he says. “I put on big shows back in Australia.”
As for the push Golden Boy Promotions is giving Tomlinson, he’s receiving it with gratitude. “(It) gives me confidence and reassurance” claims the fighter. Truth be told, the man is perfectly assured that Golden Boy Promotions will market him effectively – so assured, in fact, that he plans on leaving the self-promoting to his craft.
“One thing when I fight,” he says, “I always come to fight and fight hard.”
No “can man” routine here. No boasts. No posing. Just boxing. Entertaining, fan friendly boxing.
“I believe I’ve got my own little style going on,” Tomlinson claims. That style consists of a relatively high guard, crunching lefts to the body and a right hand that can put an opponent flat on his back. Tomlinson can also be very fast and can be quite overwhelming (just ask Miguel Zamudio, who lost to Tomlinson last December).
Such tools will be needed when Tomlinson squares off with Vargas, a man who possesses an almost eerily similar style to his own. Vargas may throw his right a bit more; he may also employ more uppercuts. His stance is very reminiscent of Tomlinson’s, however, as is his ring aggression.
Yet it could also be argued that Vargas takes more clean punches than Tomlinson does. That may prove telling on fight night.
No matter what, it is a safe, a very safe, bet that fans will get their money’s worth this Thursday. That’s good news for followers of the sweet science.
It may also prove to be very good news for Tomlinson, a man who’s clearly ready for prime time.