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Plant City Observer Thursday, Mar. 8, 2018 8 months ago

Athlete of the Week: Ricky Tomlinson

Tomlinson picked up a win in his March 3 boxing match.
by: Justin Kline Sports/Associate Editor

Local boxing pro Ricky Tomlinson, a Plant City native and Strawberry Crest alumnus, picked up a four-round win by unanimous decision over previously undefeated Ernest Hall in Clearwater on March 3. It was Tomlinson’s second consecutive win and, according to trainer Jose Rodriguez, the “Cowboy” looked better than ever in the ring.

Know someone who deserves an Athlete of the Week feature? Email Justin Kline at [email protected] by the Friday before the next issue.


How are you feeling now that this fight’s done?

I’m feeling great. I’m feeling real good. I’m happy with my performance. I did what I had to do to win the fight…making another step up the ladder.


You’re sometimes sparring 20 to 30 rounds to prepare for four-round fights like these. That probably seems insane to people who don’t train.

It seems like a big deal, but at Plant City Boxing Gym it’s not really a big deal because it’s a mental thing. Your mind will tell your body you’re tired before you really are. It’s all in your head. You’ve just got to keep pushing and keep doing it.


This was the first time since you’ve gone pro that your opponent hasn’t tried to take off your hat at the weigh-ins?

Yeah, this was the first time. Ernie Hall, I give him a lot of props, man. One of the most humble guys I’ve ever met in boxing. Didn’t have one problem with him. He was even giving me props in the ring, like “Man, you’re fast.” It was cool to fight someone that was like that when you’re not used to fighting people that are like that.


Are you gonna stick with “Cowboy” as your nickname or go with “Pretty Ricky” like he said on Facebook?

I’m gonna stick with “Cowboy.” I’m from Plant City, you know I’m homegrown.


Going pro right out of high school is not easy. What helped you make it work?

My family. My mom, my dad. My fans. They push me. My coaching. Everyone together, they always push me to do harder and it’s nice to have that behind you. If you don’t have that, it’s harder to move forward.


What helped you beat Hall in the ring?

We’ve been working on footwork a lot. You don’t fight with your hands, you know — you fight with your feet. You make to where they don’t have a chance to throw on you. I went out there and threw my punches, did my slipping and got out, and he couldn’t find me.


What’s next on your schedule?

June 16, Fire Fist Promotions, our next fight.


Do you have an opponent yet?

No. They don’t know yet and I don’t care who they bring to the table. I’m gonna be ready for whoever they bring.

Justin Kline is the Sports/Associate Editor at the Plant City Observer. He has been covering all things sports-related in the Winter Strawberry Capital of the World since 2013.

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