WILL Tomlinson moved to the US last year in order to chase big fights and find himself on the biggest possible platform to showcase his abilities.
It may have taken a calendar year for it to eventuate, but Tomlinson is in discussions with his promoter Golden Boy about signing to face the highly-touted and unbeaten Mexican Francisco Vargas in December.
“Basically, what has happened is Vargas’ management have been quoted in several media outlets saying that if I was successful in my last fight – which I was – then they would want the fight with me,” said Tomlinson in an exclusive interview with Aus-Boxing.
“I want the fight, Golden Boy wants the fight, so I don’t see a reason why the fight can’t be made.”
While no official date has been announced by Golden Boy Promotions – who promote both Tomlinson and Vargas – it appears likely that the fight, if signed, will land on the looming return of Saul Alvarez to American cable network giant HBO. The tentative date appears to be December 6th in Houston, Texas.
“I’m going to be open and very easy to negotiate for this fight,” Tomlinson continued. “I realise that this fight will be a massive opportunity and it is the right fight to get me into the posiiton I was in before the Belmontes fight in March – if not better.”
“And for that reason and I am going to do whatever I can to make it happen. It’ll be on HBO, on a feature spot on the card which will be televised and I think it will be a great way to introduce the my brand to the American audience.”
Vargas, 29, has been a staple on high-profile cards promoted by Golden Boy this year, raising his profile with a one-sided knockout over the faded Juan Manuel Lopez as well as a win over Abner Cotto in March. Vargas (20-0-1, 14 KOs), who is a former Mexican Olympian, is managed by Joel De La Hoya – brother of Golden Boy president Oscar – meaning the fight will be easily negotiated as it is essentially an in-house fight for Golden Boy.
Tomlinson, 28, returned to action in Cancun last month, easily outscoring Alberto Cupido in a shutout points decision that brought the Bairnsdale-born slugger back into the winners circle. Tomlinson (20-1-1, 12 KOs) is looking to capitalise on the momentum and secure the marquee fight that he has desperately pursued for the past year.
“Francisco Vargas is the style of fighter that I love to fight and I honestly believe that I can beat him and put on a great show for the fans in the process.”
“We both have styles that will compliment each other, and neither of us will have to go looking for each other,” he continued. “I’m predicting it will be an Alan Herrera type of fight, which is a ten or twelve round war.”
“For me, I think I just have to do what I do best and I think I have the ability to outsmart him as well as win in a super entertaining fight.”
Having experienced how difficult it can be for a fighter to break into the lucrative US market, Tomlinson understands and acknowledges that being on the books of an influential promoter is part of the reason why he is in discussions to land a high-profile fight with Vargas.
“Based on experience, I know that these fights and opportunities don’t happen unless your signed with a marquee promoter,” Tomlinson said. “These types of fights on big TV dates on HBO/Showtime only happen if your fighting for one the biggest promoters in the business, which thankfully I am with Golden Boy.”
“I think the difference and the other guys who previously went to the US and lost and me is that I’m giving myself every opportunity to perform at my best,” Tomlinson explained.
With some of Australia’s best fighters falling on the big stage in the US this year, Tomlinson is looking to restore some pride in Australian boxing in the form of a big win to close out the year. When asked on his thoughts on how Australian fighters can look to better their performances abroad, Tomlinson cited a lack of high quality preparation as his reasoning behind their shortcomings.
“I think the other boys would have done better if they based themselves in the US instead of going over there so late,” quipped Tomlinson. “With that said, I understand that it’s a big move, especially for eight weeks at a time and especially with a family and work commitments too.”
Tomlinson was quick to acknowledge that the move abroad isn’t for everyone, but in terms of his own performance – he believes he has found a winning formula for future fights abroad.
“For me, I believe that basing myself in the US for training camps will be the key to me performing well and winning these fights,” he said in closing. “This includes being in the US to prepare with my trainer Manny, which I believe will truly help me perform at my best.”