UNBEATEN heavyweight Tommy Welch is targeting a fight against fellow prospect Franklin Ignatius this year.
Welch, 11-0 (6), son of former British champion Scott “The Brighton Rock” Welch, has notched up 11 fights since his debut in December 2020. Ignatius, 6-0-1 (1), defeated promising talent Hosea Stewart in their December rematch five months after they fought to a draw. Then two months ago the Austrian-born Brit defeated Newcastle’s Ivan Drago lookalike Steve Robinson over eight rounds.
Speaking to Boxing News 28-year-old Welch was a somewhat frustrated figure and summed up how his career stands at the moment. “I’m getting messed around a lot by promoters. Been trying to get on some shows. There was a show on September 30 that I was desperately trying to get on.”
Welch believes Ignatius will box on a Wasserman card in Brighton this year, where Harlem Eubank could headline, and wants a piece of the action.
“I’m after Franklin Ignatius. Other than that, I’ve got a warm-up fight on a low-key show in Portsmouth (on October 7). That’s my next move. Haven’t got an opponent confirmed but trying to get a fighter with a winning record. Trying to get a decent opponent to come back in with and then move on to Franklin after.”
While his father is in his corner Tommy has also bent the ear of Roy Jones Jr, Peter Fury, Conor McGregor, Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis for advice but none of that compares to being in the ring on the type of seek and destroy missions he enjoys. His thirst hasn’t been quenched as much as he would have like over the last couple of years though. Having caught Covid in December 2021 Welch then suffered a broken hand one month later while sparring. His return came in June 2022 winning on points against Jake Darnell which was the first of five fights in an 11-month period.
“I started off my career flying,” Welch recalled.
“I was knocking most of the boys out, felt good then I sustained a terrible injury in my hand. So that was my trajectory, bombing people out. I damaged my hand and had a lot of PTSD so it took me a good few fights to get over that and now I’m back to slinging the damage. We’re dishing out damage for anyone that wants it.”
One highlight of Welch’s career to date was a spot on the undercard of Lawrence Okolie vs Chris Billam-Smith outdoors at the Vitality Stadium in Bournemouth in May. While not entirely happy with his performance Welch was never in danger of losing against Amine Boucetta which ended with his fourth win on points since returning from his injury. In comparison, the first six fights of Welch’s career ended with his hand raised in victory after five early night’s work.
Looking back at his slot on the Bournemouth undercard Welch said, “It was a buzz”.
“Being a fucking low-level fighter coming through you’re not on the top spot but to be a part of that show was fantastic. I’m trying to get more movement in my career and get on big shows more frequently. I need to be fighting more, I want to fight more, I want to have a short and explosive career and get out as much as I can.”
And this time next year the popular and smooth-talking heavyweight wants to be mixing it with a couple of heavyweights who will face one another in the Middle East next month.
“I want to be knocking on David Adeleye’s door or Fabio Wardley’s door by then. They are the calibre I want to mix with. They’re running through prospects, they’re the front-runners, I’ll be sitting with them boys for sure.”