THE question on Friday night (June 18) is, what happens when Sheffield flyweight Tommy Frank fights Rosendo Hugo Guarneros with two hands? Frank was ruled out of their fight last December after eight rounds with an injury to his left shoulder. From the third, he barely threw a left hand, but was still well in the scheduled 12-round fight against the Mexican until Glyn Rhodes MBE decided he had to pull his fighter out. That was a disappointing end to the top-of-the-bill fight on Fight Academy’s first show in the Sheffield Arena car park. That is also the venue for Friday night’s rematch that will be shown on the Fighzone App.

Guarneros, 18-4-2 (9), goes into the fight ranked No 11 by the IBF. The belt-holder, Sunny Edwards, has history with both fighters. He unanimously outpointed Guarneros over 10 rounds at the York Hall in September 2019 and claimed Frank pulled out of fighting him for the British title, a story denied by Frank’s management.

Frank has said a fight with Edwards is “inevitable” and it will come a step nearer should he avenge the only loss on his 13-1 record against the 30-year-old from Amozoc. Frank expects to face an improved version of Guarneros. “He was tough and game,” said the 27-year-old, “and now he’s coming back as a champion.”

Tommy Frank
Andrew Saunders/Sporting Captures

Both know more about each other this time as well. Guarneros stepped in at late notice last December after Frank’s all-Sheffield clash with Kyle Yousaf for the vacant British flyweight title fell through. Frank says Guarneros was “the third or fourth-choice” opponent and he came with a point to prove. He was disappointed with his showing against Edwards, winning a single round on two cards and being completely shut out on the other, but Frank found him hard to discourage. Of course, Frank’s injury will have given him encouragement. “Given the circumstances it wasn’t a bad performance,” said Frank. “The shoulder went in the third and it seized up more and more with each round.

“If it had gone in the eighth or ninth I might have been able to coast it out.

“It took him a couple of rounds to realise my hand had gone and when he did, he upped the pace and stole a few rounds. I still thought it was pretty even after eight rounds.”

Had the fight been over 10 rounds, rather than 12, Frank says he may have convinced Rhodes to let him continue until the final bell and the decision may have still gone his way.

Even after Frank’s shoulder ‘went,’ a case could be made for him winning several rounds. Guarneros obviously threw more punches – he had two hands, Frank only one – but there was still a lot of eye-catching right-hand pot shotting work from Frank.

Even though every punch he threw was a right, Frank had the savvy to keep Guarneros guessing where they were coming from and he started to push the Mexican back in the sixth.

That proved to be a turning point as Guarneros really came to life in the next. As he did several times during the fight, he suddenly jumped through the gears and started firing clusters of punches at Frank. He avoided most, but when Guarneros put together another burst of shots towards the end of the eighth, he started to get through. There were signs just before the bell that Frank was feeling his shoulder and with four rounds still to go, Rhodes pulled him out.

“I didn’t stick to the game plan,” said Frank, who was born with a hole in his heart and does work for Heart Research UK. “The plan was to ease into the fight, box and move and as the rounds go by I step up the pace. I planted my feet in the early rounds. The plan was to do that from rounds seven and eight.”

Edwards beat Guarneros – as he beats everyone – with movement. He hurt his right hand in the seventh round, but by then, the Mexican appeared to have run out of ideas.

Frank stood in front of Guaneros before the injury and, mostly, he made him miss and countered. He impressed with his composure and punch variety and at 5ft 7ins, Frank is a good size for 112 lbs. He won Commonwealth honours up at 115lbs, dropping Belfast’s Luke Wilton (20-5-1) four times for a fourth-round stoppage in March, 2019.

Aran Didaen, an aggressive Thai who came with a 6-1 record, took Frank to a split decision over 12 and that appears to have led to a rethink because Frank’s subsequent two fights have been at 112lbs, a points win over Mexico’s Martin Tecuapetla (15-11-4) and the loss to Guarneros.
We go for Frank to get the win this time. He can outpoint Guarneros in a good fight.

The Verdict Tommy Frank goes looking for redemption.