“Wild” Will Tomlinson is on the path to redemption.
Carving his name into the American boxing scene, Tomlinson made a stellar live television debut on Thursday night, downing experienced Mexican, Miguel Zamudio, with a final round knockout.
It was in important end-of-year victory for one Bairnsdale’s biggest sporting exports, needing the victory to ensure his promoter, Golden Boy, would remain on board.
“Wild” Will now remains a chance to fight for a world title from one of the major governing bodies.
Tomlinson’s debut, at the famed MGM Grand Arena, in Las Vegas, turned sour with his first professional loss in May to undefeated Jerry Belmontes.
He bounced back in August with his first international triumph, accounting for Alberto Cupido in Cancun, Mexico, with an eight-round unanimous points decision.
Thursday victory in San Diego, California, was the “Wild” Will of old. The power hitter landed a remarkable 208 punches to Zamudio’s 82, while also throwing 100 more than the Mexican before flooring him 56 seconds into the last.
It was his first knockout victory since May 2011 in his hometown of Bairnsdale and 13th of his career.
A proud Tomlinson went to Facebook to thanks his followers.
“So happy to finish the year with another great win!” he posted.
“The year didn’t start out great but it finished perfectly and I feel like I’ve got myself back into a position to chase the big fights I moved to the Sates for in 2015. “I want to say a big thank you to all my loyal supporters back home and hopefully now around the world, your support is greatly appreciated!
“Can’t wait to go again next year.”
Zamudio was docked points for deliberate head butts, aware Tomlinson bleeds easily.
He was a pretty dirty fighter,” Tomlinson said.
“I’m very happy with my performance, especially as it was on live TV and a great platform to win a few fans in the States.”
Despite having a reach six inches shorter than Zamudio, Tomlinson dominated from the outset.
On the offensive with left jabs, Tomlinson hit the body before Zamudio delivered an intentional headbutt within the first minute, losing a point.
Zamudio was sluggish in the opening round as Tom- linson landed a few overhand rights.
An early jab from Tomlinson caused a bleed from the nose of the Mexican as he ramped up his attack with some fierce left hooks in the middle of the second round. It was all “Wild” Will.
Zamudio allowed Tomlinson to make the pace and failed to capiatlise when he worked in close range.
A left-right combination found Zamudio’s chin in the opening seconds of the third round.
Tomlinson remained on top as the Mexican looked slow on his feet.
There was more aggression from Zamudio in the fourth, however it was the Bairnsdale boy with the answers.
Body shots and overhand rights continued to flow as Zamudio stayed stagnant.
With blood flowing beneath his right eye, Zamudio showed little movement as Tomlinson continued to land overhand rights with ease. The Mexican could not counter attack.
Combinations varied with uppercuts more prevalent as Tomlinson continued to land heavy blows.
Zamudio’s corner wanted to throw in the towel before the sixth round, however he continued to wear big punches.
After an initial blaze, Tomlinson’s boxing prowess came to the fore as he not only outpunched Zamudio, but outsmarted and outworked him.
The rhythm continued late in the sixth as Tomlinson unleashed a flurry of rights and lefts.
The doctor was called to the ring to assess Zamudio, being cleared for another round.
Tomlinson showed more aggression as he searched for the winning blow. Zamudio hit Tomlinson with a few punches in the seventh, however it was the first time he had showed any counter attack.
Trapped on the ropes, Zamudio had no response to Tomlinson’s huge rights before an uppercut landed him the knockout victory.