On November 25th 2017 at a packed out Imperial Banqueting Suite in Bilston, Tom ‘Rolo’ Rowlinson became the new Midlands EBF Champion. He took the time to answer some of our questions just a few days after his successful Title challenge.
Tom “Rolo Junior” Rowlinson
I am 20 years old
I box in the light-middleweight division
My dad John “Rolo” Rowlinson coaches me at a selection of different gyms but if I had to narrow it down to one I’d have to say ‘Elite Gym’ in Wednesbury would be the gym I represent.
When did you start boxing?
I initially started boxing around 5 years ago and I’ve been fighting since 2013.
Congratulations on winning the Midlands EBF Title. How did you celebrate your win?
I celebrated winning the EBF title by going on a relaxing spa break away in Oxford, with my girlfriend the following day.
Is winning the title the highlight of your career?
I would probably say winning the EBF title has been the highlight of my career so far because the opponent is a highly rated boxer and he used to have the upper hand over me when I sparred him around a year ago so it was really good for me to see how much I have improved especially over the past year. Although winning my first belt for the Midlands Area title for another organisation, in July, was also a key highlight in my career.
What do you think of your career so far?
I think my career is definitely heading in the right direction. I have been receiving a lot of praise from other boxers, other people involved on the circuit and supporters recently, so it is good to know other people can see that I am doing well too. I am only 20 years old, I have two titles and still have plenty more years to grow and mature so I must be doing something right. I aim to become professional within 3-4 years which I think is a target that’s definitely not out of reach.
What are you currently working on in training?
The opponent who I beat to win the EBF title is quite an aggressive, come-forward fighter who likes to have a bit of a scrap and I knew I had the skills to outbox him but I didn’t really want to step into his game and get dragged into a brawl so I was concentrating a lot on the defensive work, ring positioning and counter punching. At the moment I’m having a bit of a rest over the Christmas period as I have been pretty active all year round and feel like I have earnt my time off but I’m still doing bits and bobs so when I start my fight camp again I won’t have too much to catch up on.
What’s your recommendation for a training camp diet?
It really depends what weight you are and what weight you need to be for your upcoming fight as you may need to gain or cut weight to make the fight happen (meaning your diet would be different depending on the circumstances). However, I do eat a lot of steamed fish, chicken, porridge oats, rice and fruit.
What’s the biggest challenge that you’ve had to overcome?
I’d probably say my toughest challenge was when I won my first ever title because I went on a two week holiday and I had to fight 3 days after I arrived back in England. This was challenging as even though I was eating clean, training at gyms and running whilst abroad, I couldn’t get nowhere near as much sparring as I would have liked. Another thing was I had my opponent changed the day before and I ended up having to box someone who was just under a stone and half heavier than me.
What are your aims for 2018
My aims for 2018 will be to maintain the two belts that I am currently holding and win a British title. I would also like to earn the opportunity to box abroad.
Name your top 3 boxing heroes
That’s a tough question. I’d probably go with Roy Jones Jr, Vasyl Lomachenko and Mike Tyson all for the fact they are so unbelievably entertaining to watch. Lomachenko is definitely my favourite boxer who is currently active. He just makes everything look so easy.