pictures by James Deen
Birmingham’s hot prospect Tommy Collins had to get up off the Canvas to battle to a points victory at the H-Suite Edgbaston (25/03/23). The Twenty-five-year-old known as ‘Tommy- Gun’ was the main event at the Black Country Boxing’s March show called ‘Keep Right On’. Collins was coming into the welterweight contest with an unbeaten record of seven wins without defeat and his fans had come out in force to see him make it eight. Collins was taking on the very game Twenty-seven-year-old Nicaraguan Eduardo Valverde whose record was three wins and one draw out of thirteen fights. Collins weighed in 10 stone 3 with Valverde coming in 9 stone 11 with Ryan Churchill reffing.
Collins came out strong and got some fast combinations off to the cheers of his massive following. Valverde then let a vicious left hook go which caught Collins flush on the jaw knocking him down, Collins got to his feet and carried on to see the round out on shaky legs. Collins seemed to have recovered by the start of the second round and let his hands go but was rushing in spoiling his work. When he did get his range right, he put some great combinations together to win the round. Valverde had some joy at the start of the third but was looking for the big left hook that had put Collins down in the first,
Collins stuck to his tidy boxing with some fast combination to win the round.
Collins came out fast in the fourth but seemed to be rushing his work, Valverde caught him with nice left hooks which Collins took well and he continued to ask questions of Collins earning a share of the round. Collins was in an all-out war in the fifth with Valverde as they stood toe to toe, Collins had the better of the exchanges and boxed well on the outside. Valverde came back strong at the end of the round but Collins won it. Collins seemed to put everything into the final round and got some great combinations off, Valverde continued to ask questions of Collins and sustained a cut above his right eye due to a clash of heads, but he continued to battle Collins to the end.
Referee Ryan Churchill scored it 58 to 56 Collins I had it the same.
What a main event and what a performance by Collins and Valverde who has given the Birmingham hot prospect a big test. I don’t think Collins and his team expected such a challenge in this six-rounder, but Tommy had to dig deep, pick himself off the canvas and do it the hard way. People will look at this and take it as a negative as he was knocked down. Myself I don’t it is, he would have learned more in this fight about himself than in his first seven fights. He now knows he can get up after getting knocked down and has the intestinal fortitude to Forge a win from the brink of defeat. I really think Tommy should be very proud of himself and I look forward to catching up with him soon.