Greatest Hits: ‘Wild’ Will Tomlinson

WILL Tomlinson has packed a lot of action and drama into his twenty-five professional fights.

Although he isn’t one of the most polished boxers that Australia has to offer, Tomlinson’s sheer grit, determination and will to win is near unrivalled.

Tomlinson, 28, has defined his ring moniker ‘Wild Will’ in almost all of his fights to date and along the way has captured the attention of some mainstream media outlets, as well as the Australian boxing public.

Ahead of the biggest fight of his professional career on Friday afternoon (EDT) against Francisco Vargas, Aus-Boxing takes a look at five of Tomlinson’s best wins and performances as a professional.

Alan Herrera (26-3) November 30th, 2011:

This fight is arguably Tomlinson’s finest hour as a professional prizefighter as a then 24-year-old Tomlinson waged a twelve round war with Mexican firebrand Alan Herrera to a sold-to-capacity crowd at Perth’s Challenge Stadium.

With semi-main billing to Danny Green’s ill-fated challenge to Krzysztof Wlodarczyk and the vacant IBO super featherweight title on the line, Tomlinson endured several cuts and testing moments to not only steal the show with a thrilling points decision, but also a tremendous display of heart in a testing championship thriller.

Herrera started quickly, as Tomlinson took his time to adjust to the overactive Mexican, who caught the Australian with a sharp counter uppercut in the third round. The fight’s course turned in the second half of the fight, when a bloodied but determined Tomlinson began to mix his trademark brawling with sensible counter-punching.


Daniel Ruiz (27-4-1) May 18th, 2012:

The fight against Ruiz was a homecoming party of sorts for Tomlinson. With his biggest fights to date all coming interstate, Tomlinson’s first defence of his IBO super featherweight title was a sign of his pulling power.

In front of another capacity crowd, this time at the Melbourne Pavilion, the hometown fighter didn’t disappoint, flooring the Mexican in the very first round. Although it may not have been a back-and-forth brawl that the preceding Herrera fight was, Tomlinson showed a full arsenal of combinations.

Tomlinson’s lead left hook was a potent weapon in this fight, as he controlled the action by switching stances and landing a steady jab to pick apart Ruiz, who had previously given some noted super featherweights difficulty.


Miguel Zamudio (31-5-1) December 4th, 2014:

Two fights removed from his decision loss to Jerry Belmontes last March, Tomlinson made his US television debut with an emphatic eighth round stoppage over Miguel Zamudio.

Having been based in the US for well over a year, Tomlinson was at his explosive best but with a twist. The now former IBO super featherweight champion showed poise as he picked the durable Zamudio apart before ultimately imposing his will – and getting a well deserved knockout win.

Despite the one-sided bating, Zamudio was game enough to last until the final round, before a barrage of shots – set up by a superbly timed uppercut – forcing referee Tom Taylor to call a halt. The win over Zamudio showcased Tomlinson’s improved defence and in turn earned him the high-profile assignment against Francisco Vargas.


Malcolm Klassen (27-5-2) May 16th, 2013:

Tomlinson’s last fight in Australia came in the form of the Melbournian’s third defence of his IBO super featherweight title. In Malcolm Klassen, the Australian was facing a one-time elite level operator, who once held the IBF super featherweight title and hadn’t lost a fight for the best part of four years.

Unlike most of Tomlinson’s previous fights and opponents, the fleet-footed Klassen gave the defending champion a unique stylistic puzzle to solve. The South African proved to be a tricky customer, fighting sporadically while making Tomlinson chase him around the ring for twelve hotly contested rounds.

Although the judges scorecards did not indicate the competitive spirit of the contest, Tomlinson was made to work for every minute of the title fight. In addition to this, Tomlinson suffered two nasty cuts, arguably the worst of his career – courtesy of multiple head clashes – making the win all the more impressive.


2013-05-16 Will Tomlinson vs Malcolm Klassen by sweetboxing11

Verquan Kimbrough (21-2-3) December 2nd, 2009:

Ask most casual fans of Australian boxing what fight converted them to being fans of Will Tomlinson, and almost all of them will name this performance. Verquan Kimbrough was a firm favourite to beat the untested Tomlinson on the undercard of Danny Green’s IBO cruiserweight title clash with the legendary Roy Jones Jr.

Signed to the American’s Square Ring Promotions, a lot of people saw this as a soft touch for Kimbrough and given his fast feet and tremendous hand speed, it was hard not to see a long night at the office for Tomlinson. Not one to read the script, Tomlinson starched Kimbrough in three one-sided rounds.

The Australian rattled Kimbrough in the closing stages of the second round, before laying out the American with a signature left hook, followed by a short right hand. The knockout is forever etched in Tomlinson’s highlight reel and in hindsight was the performance that marked Tomlinson’s future as a star of Australian boxing.


Photo: Provided



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