Interview with Tomi Tatham

By Steve Bateson on March 25, 2015
Interview with Tomi Tatham
Tomi Tatham is one of the hottest prospects in the British Light-Heavyweight division

When we talk about boxing there are a few names that automatically spring to mind, whether we are avid fans or more casual, but in order to gain “superstar” status every boxer must first climb the ladder of success. Every fighter must take each rung as it comes and overcome the potential obstacles they may face along the way. It’s easy, as observers, to watch the culmination of years of hard work and pass judgement where we see fit but each career has a starting point and every boxer is a “prospect” at some point, you don’t just become a global phenomenom over night.

Quite often these “prospects” and “potential” game-changers are overlooked for the more well known, household names, but for those of us who follow an entire bill from the time the doors open to the time they close there is an a tremendous amount of talent on show. For those fans who choose to take a look at what every promoter has to offer instead of the giants of mainstream television there is a plethora of fighters with the ambition and attributes to become a real threat to domestic, european and even world honours.

One of these particular fighters is Tomi “TNT” Tatham, a fast-rising light heavyweight with the power and speed to become a challenge to anyone currently plying their trade in the 175lb division. Tomi,  a Karl Ince trained fighter, is humble and motivated with the drive to excel and with the backing of promoter Steve Wood and the exposure of fighting on the sky is potentially the limit for this rising talent.

I was able to talk to Tomi and get an insight into the mind of one of Britain’s upcoming professional boxers. How old where you when you started boxing? What was the motivation behind taking up the sport?

Tomi: I went to a boxing show and thought I could do that but like most never had the balls to go down and try it. The idea was cooler than the thought of doing it like most. Eventually I went down with a lot, I mean a lot, of persuasion by my good friend Pete Myres and ex pro Rob Dugdale to the late Hughie Fury’s gym in Skerton. I trained a bit and loved it, I sparred big Dave Ingleby who was a few stone heavier than me and I got a fair pasting but loved it. 3 months after I walked in the gym I was fighting for John Vareys Skerton age of 19. I had a couple of years with them then moved onto Leigh ABC. I was going to turn pro with my amateur coaches but there where disagreements and they let me go 4 weeks before my first professional fight which was on the 7th October 2012 at Reebok Stadium (Bolton). Karl Ince took me on and the rest is history. You are currently sidelined with an injury (broken hand) but when can we expect to see you next out in the ring, are there plans in the pipeline?

Tomi: I’m hoping to be out on the 23rd of May. It’s another Preston bill, hand permitting. I’m wanting a lively opponent so I can put into practice things I’ve been working on in the gym. It’s hard to do it on an opponent that doesn’t want to engage but I know the script and I must learn my trade, but like all fighters I wanna get on and fast. Just injuries are slowing me down sadly. You are currently 7-1 (3 KO’s) and your fanbase seems to be growing with every fight. Do you have a set goal in mind for the rest of 2015? Have there been any discussions about an area title fight?

Tomi: Nothing has been said but I’m hoping to have an area fight by the end of the year if I can, injuries have slowed me down. I’d like to of had one by now but a year out with a wrist injury definitely put a speed limit on proceedings. I love my fans too, hoping with them and my exciting fighting style I’ll get seen and onto TV shows which I know I’d sell more tickets if I was on.  Do you find it difficult keeping yourself grounded at times when it comes to matchmaking? Or are you happy to work with what your team comes up and puts in front of you?

Tomi: I wasn’t happy fighting Mitch (Mitchell) and Elvis (Dube) twice but at least I was fighting. That is all that matters, I was just happy I was getting in the ring. I trust my team Steve Woods & Karl Ince and know they will do what’s best for me but like all fighters I wanna test myself.  If you could give any advice to aspiring boxers what would it be? Do you believe boxing has helped you develop both inside and outside the ring?

Tomi: I’d say boxing isn’t like football, if your tired you can’t pass the ball you just get beaten. You can’t play boxing it’s all or nothing, there’s only you when the bell goes so make sure your stepping through the ropes the best you that you can be.
Boxing has made me a better person all round, little things like staying in on the weekend as I don’t want to feel grim while training Monday, it’s made me calm as boxing you must control your temper etc. It’s a great sport and for me it should still be in schools. Who is your favourite fighter of all time?

Tomi: I love Mike Tyson. His ferociousness and style in the ring. He had speed, power, timing the perfect fighter. I also love Benn, Mugabi and Hagler they where explosive and wild at times like myself. They where thrilling to watch.  The best fight you have ever watched?

Tomi: Gatti vs Ward 2 warriors going toe to toe. That’s what I got into boxing for, to make people question the body’s limits like those guys. Who is your toughest opponent to date and what made them so difficult?

Tomi: Lee Duncan. I was young and he frustrated me. I thought right I’ll use my face as a way to get in, I just let him hit me so I could get one off. I knew if I connected it was lights out but he kept me away. My first loss which I feel I won or drew but it’s done now and taught me so so much. I’m a better fighter from it and I had a broken wrist which kinda hindered me but it is probably the best thing for me. What would you say are your best and worst attributes as a boxer? Is there anything in particular you feel needs improvement?

Tomi: I feel I need improvement all round, I haven’t been in the game long so I’m still learning everyday from my coach Karl Ince and stable mates. But it’s a benefit too as I’m still fresh and hungry. My attribute is my power I believe I have 1 punch knock out power and a great engine but you can have all the power in the world unless you land it, it’s pointless so that’s on the list too Career highlight so far?

Tomi: First year unbeaten 5 wins 3kos a dream start and top 20 ranked but injuries have slowed me down recently.  But I’m a positive thinker so the best is to come Final question, I have to ask, with the huge May 2nd showdown between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, who are you tipping for the win?

Tomi: I always think a fighter may have a chance against floyd but he always proves me wrong so I’ll stick with him. I hope pac man puts it on him and does the job as I rate him as an exciting fighter and humble man. I truest believe if Amir Khan stuck to a plan his speed could cause serious problem to him and possibly a points win

Tomi is definitely one to watch for the future and I would urge boxing fans in the UK and overseas to keep an eye on his development. His fighting style and his dedication to the sport makes him a “must see” attraction.

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

TATHAM V DUBE - Preston 28th February 2015

Tatham -V- Mitchell Reebok Stadium, Bolton, 9th March 2013

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