Tommy Frank wins Commonwealth eliminator while Loua Nassa suffers shock loss

Tommy Frank
Tommy Frank

Tommy Frank delivered a thoroughly professional performance to secure victory in his Commonwealth title eliminator against Adam Yahaya.

Frank took each of the ten rounds on the scorecard for a comprehensive points win which reflected the dominance he asserted over the contest.

Loua Nassa

Loua Nassa

But credit to Tanzanian fighter Yahaya who showed tremendous resolve to keep going at Ponds Forge.

It was clear from the first bell that Sheffield fighter Frank was a level above his opponent as he picked off southpaw Yahaya with the jab.

Commanding the centre of the ring, the Glyn Rhodes-trained fighter remained calm and composed and picked his shots superbly.

Yahaya was stunned early with a fine left uppercut but showed his toughness by quickly shaking off the shot to press on.

The rounds that followed were not quite as slick but nevertheless commanding from Frank who showed excellent maturity to realise he would not simply blitz Yahaya out of the ring.

The Tanzanian showed no backward step and an unpredictable style threatened to unsettle.

But Frank continued to showcase a slick shot selection, targeting the body in particular in a bid to slow down Yahaya.

He landed a huge right hook in round six to send Yahaya teetering back but again the shot was shaken off.

By the latter moments of the seventh round it was clear Yahaya was tiring and for the first time the opportunity for a stoppage looked to be presenting itself.

Frank rocked him with a beautiful left hook to the body in the eighth and would continue to target the same shot in the remaining moments.

That Yahaya survived until the final bell was more a reflection of his resolve than a knock on Frank’s performance.

He breezed through his first fight against an opponent with a winning record to move to 9-0 for his career.

Tougher tests – if not tougher opponents – will come but the 25-year-old showed plenty of skill and quality to further suggest he has a bright future ahead.

While Frank comfortably dealt with a Tanzanian test, the same could not be said for fellow Sheffielder Loua Nassa, who suffered the second major disappointment of his career as he was on the wrong end of an upset defeat.

Referee John Latham waved off his Commonwealth bantamweight title eliminator during the eighth round after Nassa took a string of heavy shots from his tough Tanzanian opponent Nasibu Ramadhan.

Ryan Rhodes-trained Nassa could not handle the pressure of Ramadhan and it became clear by the seventh round that it was unlikely to be his night.

He failed to use a considerable height advantage to keep Ramadhan at bay and his attempt to defend by bobbing and weaving simply did not work.

The Tanzanian - arriving at Ponds Forge with a 25-12-2 record - successfully took away the difference in reach by walking down Nassa and threw multiple shots at a time.

Nassa struggled for any semblance of control and Ramadhan continued to come forward.

A quick left-right combination midway through the seventh stunned Nassa, who spit out his gumshield to gain a few moments of respite.

Ramadhan immediately jumped back on him and continued to land big shots with Nassa looking to hold and push back. It was ugly but it saw him through to the end of seven.

But the pattern continued into the eighth and, after Nassa took another hefty barrage, referee Latham had seen enough and stepped in.

It condemned Nassa to a second defeat in 13 fights - his previous loss coming at the same venue when beaten by Brad Watson in a English super flyweight title contest.