Romain Tomas: I Embrace the Pressure
By: Hans Themistode
It’s never too late to live out your dreams. It’s also never too late to make new ones and chase them as well.
For Lightweight boxing prospect Romain Tomas he is doing just that.
Growing up in France, boxing was never something that came across his mind. The thought of putting on a pair of gloves and beating down an adversary who is essentially a stranger, was never quite pleasing to him. He was too busy with other ventures in his life.
“Growing up in France, I was really more so into soccer,” said Tomas. “That was really my favorite sport growing up as a young kid. Boxing isn’t really well known where I’m from.”
It isn’t a complete shock to hear the words that were spewed by Tomas. It is rare to hear of any successful boxers that came from France. Can you name one? Go ahead, I’ll wait.
Don’t fault yourself for not being able to come up with a single name. Throughout the entire history of boxing there just hasn’t been many big name fighters from that part of the world. You would have to go back almost 100 years to find a legitimate name in Marcel Cerdan. He is considered by most to be the best fighter from the country of France as he is a former Middleweight champion.
Outside of Cerdan, the legacy of boxers from France grows thin. Tomas is doing his best to change that perception. Once he discovered the sport of boxing he never wanted to let it go.
“Once I came across boxing I fell in love with it. It was just so different from soccer and any other sport that I was familiar with.”
The path to his own boxing story was officially set. The only issue was that he found it increasingly difficult to find a fight. At the not so young age of 20, at least in terms of beginning a boxing career, Tomas would leave France and set his sights on the United States. It was there that he began to finally break through.
“I was able to have a few amateur fights in France but not to many because it’s not a very popular sport where I’m from. I realized that if I wanted to really pursue this as a career then I need to go to the United States. Once I finally reached there I was able to get a lot more fights but still, I didn’t have a chance to have to many of them. I had about 23 amateur fights and won about 18 of them so I’m still learning. Even as a pro I have a lot to learn.”
Tomas learned the hard way as he lost his first contest as a professional. It was a tough way to start a career but Tomas wasn’t discouraged. He would go on to win his next seven fights in a row before suffering another setback in 2018. With two losses on his record, against below average competition at that, it seemed as though Tomas was headed towards gatekeeper status.
That thought was confirmed when in his next bout he took on an undefeated prospect by the name of Omar Borboy. It was simple. Tomas would get into the ring and give the prospect a tough fight but ultimately lose. That’s how it always goes doesn’t it? The only problem is that someone forgot to tell Tomas.
The France native fought the fight of his life and was rewarded with a split decision victory over his opponent. Now, he is being asked to do it again. This Friday night at the 2300 arena in Philadelphia Pennsylvania, Romain will be taking on another undefeated up and coming prospect. This time in the form of the hard hitting Victor Padilla.
Could it be that Padilla is expecting an easy fight from an opponent with two losses on his record? Maybe, but that would lead to his detriment. For a fighter with five fights under his belt, he has shown to have tremendous power by knocking out all of his opponents in the very first round.
It won’t be an easy fight for Tomas but he is fully expecting and embracing that. The confidence that he has gained in his own abilities from his last upset victory has reenforced his own beliefs.
“My opponent only has five fights but he has knocked everybody out so I know he has power, but I also know that he hasn’t faced a lot of tough opposition. I want to bring him into the later rounds and try to bring him somewhere that he isn’t used to going. This feels similar to my last fight where I fought an undefeated guy and a lot of people expected me to lose but I got it done. I embrace that pressure of facing an undefeated guy. It even makes training camp more enjoyable because it puts so much pressure on you to beat this guy that has never lost. I believe in my skills and I know I will win.”
Tomas isn’t the only one who believes in the skills he brings to the table. Long time boxing promoter Russell Peltz is celebrating his 50th year in the sport of boxing. Peltz didn’t just simply place Tomas on the card, he slotted him in as the main event. The gesture by Peltz hasn’t gone unnoticed by Tomas either. If you thought the young man from France was motivated before, it has grown exponentially.
“I’m just grateful to be on this great card,” said Tomas. “I’m grateful for this opportunity. It’s amazing that they’re people like this in boxing that will let two young guys headline such a huge card. What Peltz is doing for me right now in my career is great and I really appreciate it. Even though I have two losses, I know the kind of fighter I can be and I will put it on display this Friday night.”
With another big win in his sights, Romain can continue to climb the ladder from prospect to contender to possible future champion. For many, that would be the ultimate dream, but for Tomas, he has already accomplished the goals he has set for himself.
“For me being in the United States and being a professional fighter I feel like I am already a winner. I step into the gym everyday with a big smile on my face. I’m enjoying this moment right now.”
Winning this Friday night would be great for Tomas but win, lose or draw he has already won in life.
Romain Tomas: From Paris to Brooklyn
By: Bryant Romero
Up and coming lightweight prospect Romain Tomas of France, now living and fighting out of Brooklyn, New York is looking to extend his winning streak to 8 consecutive victories as he looks to return to the ring on a date in July. Tomas (7-1, 1 KO) recently scored his first knockout victory as a pro this past March and he will also look to extend his knockout streak to 2 this summer. Boxinginsider recently caught up with the 29-year-old Frenchman to get his reaction to his first knockout victory and how he stumbled upon boxing by accident while growing up in France.
“It felt good, now I can do it. Let do it again” Tomas told me. “I think I have the power to score more knockouts. I only have 1 knockout in 8 fights.
“I have the power and the ability and the technique to just finish the opponent. I guess I just needed to do it once to believe I can do it,” Tomas said.
Tomas is now almost 2 years into his pro boxing career and gets the opportunity to progress his career further now that’s he’s living and training in the United States. It wasn’t always like this for Tomas as a kid growing up near Paris, he was athletic and played a number sports, but it was boxing that caught his love. However, for a long time he had to figure out how he was going to get opportunities in this sport while living in a country where it was difficult for young fighters to make it big.
“I grew up in France, close to Paris in the Suburbs,” Tomas told me. “I got into boxing by accident. I was trying different sports and being athletic. I got into boxing and I just never left.
“Once I step in that gym, I just fell in love with it. I was 12 years old and I was going to the gym everyday nonstop and that’s how it pretty much started.”
Not long after Tomas discovered his love for boxing, his current trainer (Simon) would leave France and begin a new life in the United States, while Tomas took a 5 year hiatus from boxing as he waited for Simon’s Friend to open up his own gym in France.
“I didn’t want to do anything except boxing, so I didn’t do anything for 5 years,” Tomas said. “So his (Simon’s) friend opens the gym in France and I just got right back into it. I start training again, start competing and I loved it.”
While Tomas was thrilled to be training and competing again, he would grow frustrated with how slow progress was because of the difficulty to keep active, often waiting months in between fights. Finally, Simon’s friend realized the passion and talent that both Tomas and his friend Frederic had for the sport, and suggested that the duo should travel to the States to pursue the opportunities in boxing that were missing in France at that time.
“It was very slow progress because every time you fight you have to wait months for another fight,” Tomas explained. “My trainer over there was just like ‘you guys have nothing to do here, you’ll never make a big step, big progress.
“If you have the desire, if you have the goal to do something in boxing and to succeed, you have to go to the United States.
“So from there he just pushed us nonstop to keep training and keep going, until eventually coming to the U.S and start training with Simon. That’s what we did, that’s how we started,” Tomas said.
Boxing has since gone through many changes in France as there is stronger support for young fighters and more exposure compared to just 20 years ago. While Tomas acknowledges the relationship between boxing and France has gotten stronger, he has no desire to return to France and compete.
“I think it’s definitely getting stronger. I see boxing on TV now because of more coverage. Now people can watch boxing in their living room,” Tomas explained.
“Before we weren’t able to do that, if I wanted to watch boxing as a kid, I had to go on the internet and download stuff. It was very complicated to watch, so now you have boxing on TV, boxing on the news, and we have an Olympic champion.
“I definitely think it’s coming back. There’s more fights going on. Even though in France it’s coming back, I have no desire to go back in France and compete over there. I think if you want to be the best in something, you have to do it where the best are and that’s here,” Tomas said.
The 29-year-old is also a student of the game and he tells me he takes a little bit of something of every fighter he watches. Tomas is fan of watching the old school fighters, such Joe Louis, Benny Leonard, Willie Pep, and Sugar Ray Robinson to name a few. While Tomas doesn’t know if these guys were actually better fighters compared to today’s era, but he explains it best when he told me, “I don’t know if they were better fighters but when you see them, they had it.”
Tomas as a fighter considers himself to be a stylish boxer, a defensive fighter that can counter punch and now with 7 consecutive victories under his belt, a very confident, hungry fighter that wants to become a world champion.
“I don’t know if it’s a matter of months or years, or weeks, but I’m going for the belt,” he told me. “I’m going for the world championship, whatever it takes.
“I’m just thinking of that top level ability that I want to reach and the top level fighters that I want to fight with.
“It’s pretty early for me with 8 fights, but that’s all I’m thinking about. Just being there with the best and that’s what pushes me every day and gets me out of the bed,” Tomas said.