Tomlinson set to kick-start his American dream
Tomlinson set to kick-start his American dream

Will Tomlinson will be thrust onto the big stage when he begins his American adventure in earnest this weekend.

The unbeaten super-featherweight has his first fight in the USA since relocating from Sydney in the middle of last year.

Tomlinson faces Texan Jerry Belmontes in a 10-rounder at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Saturday night (Sunday morning WA time) on a card boasting two world title fights and the return of Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez.

And "Wild Will", who signed a deal with Golden Boy Promotions last year, is promising his new fans the blood-and-thunder style that has made him a TV favourite Down Under.

"I'm a front-foot, aggressive fighter, so I'm not going to be worrying what he wants to do," Tomlinson told from his home in Los Angeles.

"I'll be looking to dictate the fight and setting the pace."

The 27-year-old, who has won 21 and drawn one, has given up his International Boxing Organisation belt to target one of the more widely-valued world titles.

"It was a shame but over here they don't have the same regard for the IBO. It isn't seen as one of the big four (WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO), and holding it means you struggle to get ranked by one of the other sanctioning bodies," he said.

"It's one step back for a few steps forward.

"In a way I'm back down the pecking order but I welcome that challenge with open arms. It's made me extra hungry to put on a good show and impress.

"I want people to see the new Aussie kid in town.

"Fighting on this card is exciting. I've been on big Danny Green shows when he fought Roy Jones Jr, and at Challenge Stadium in Perth and in Melbourne, so I'm ready for it."

Tomlinson last fought 10 months ago when he outpointed Malcolm Klassen in Melbourne.

He drives 40 minutes each day from his home near Beverly Hills to train in Carson under Manuel Robles.

"I tried a few trainers when I came here, including Freddie Roach, but we just clicked and I keep getting better and better," he said.

"I don't look for one minute past the job in hand, which is my fight against Belmontes on March 8. But I have all the confidence in the world that I will get through him.

"After that I'll have 2-3 weeks 'R-and-R' back in Australia and then look to get back in as soon as possible. If all goes well I want to have three fights this year."

Belmontes has a creditable record of 18 wins and just three losses but, more telling, those defeats have come in his past four outings.

Meanwhile, Alvarez has his first fight since losing his WBC light-middleweight belt to Floyd Mayweather Jr in September.

He takes on dangerous fellow Mexican Alfredo Angulo in a non-title fight.

The West Australian

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