Tomi Tatham targets Hosea Burton and British crown after lifting first title

Tomi Tatham roars to his supporters after knocking down Eric Mokonzo. Picture: Karen Priestley.
Tomi Tatham roars to his supporters after knocking down Eric Mokonzo. Picture: Karen Priestley.

Tomi Tatham hopes to have set up a shot at the British title after winning his first belt in stunning fashion on Saturday night.

The Bentham light-heavyweight’s team are in talks for him to challenge Lonsdale belt holder Hosea Burton at the Manchester Arena on his 27th birthday, May 7.

And the heavy-hitter will have done his chances no harm with a thrilling stoppage victory over Eric Mokonzo to lift the International Challenge crown at Manchester’s Victoria Warehouse.

The opportunity has arisen earlier than expected for Tatham but he believes he can shock Tyson Fury’s cousin if given the chance on the undercard of Anthony Crolla’s world title defence.

The Bentham man said: “It is a bit earlier in my career than I was expecting but if the fight is right you’ve got to take it.

“It’s no good waiting for the perfect moment. You can’t let things like this pass you by. You have to grab the opportunity.

Tomi Tatham poses for the cameras after victory over Eric Mokonzo. Picture: Karen Priestley.

Tomi Tatham poses for the cameras after victory over Eric Mokonzo. Picture: Karen Priestley.

“There’s nothing to lose taking this fight. If I lose I can go back and rebuild.

“Whatever happens, a good performance is going to open doors for me.

“It’ll be really tough but I honestly believe there is not better time for me to raise that British belt.”

The battle with Mokonzo was something of a war, the Congo Warrior coming out swinging and catching Tatham with some solid shots only for the former Skerton ABC man to rally and drop his opponent on several occasions.

Mokonzo kept coming but a barrage from Tatham in the fifth round saw the fight waved off, allowing the man know as TNT to savour his first title triumph.

Tatham, who moved to 11-1 as a pro with victory, said: “I know he would come at me but he was like a caveman on acid.

“He was throwing massive shots and it was a real shock to the system.

“I kept dropping him and he kept getting up.

“I could see he really wanted it. It was a real fight.

“But I headlined my first show and won my first title. It was brilliant.”

It was a victory that saw Tatham dig deep for the first time in his career, his power ultimately seeing him prevail.

He said: “I showed different dimensions to what I can do.

“People asked if I could box and I showed that in my last few fights.

“People asked if I had a good chin and had heart and I showed that on Saturday night.

“I was under a lot of pressure and I managed to come through.”

As well as an important learning fight it is one that will also have seen Tatham catch the eye as he develops a reputation for being in entertaining scraps.

He said: “ I’ve had a lot of texts, messages and tweets about the fight.

“Some people are saying it’s the best first round they’ve ever seen.

“They’re the fights you want to be in. It was one you couldn’t take your eyes off. Blink and someone was getting chinned.”

Tatham should learn more about his potential British title fight in the coming days with Morecambe’s Isaac Lowe also potentially defending his Commonwealth featherweight title on the same bill.

He said: “We’re just going to see what happens but I’m ready to do the job on May 7.

“It’s a massive fight. He’s an excellent upright, long boxer.

“I didn’t show a lot of what I’ve been working on (against Mokonzo).

“I just had to fight where as with Hosea I’m going to have to box a bit.”