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.