Tom Welland has made an entertaining start to life as a professional. The 19-year-old is just three fights into his career but his all-action way of fighting has already caught the eye. 

Welland’s bout with Marvin Solano has been elevated to the live portion of Friday night’s live Channel 5 show and the Essex super bantamweight will appear alongside former WBC flyweight champion Charlie Edwards at London’s York Hall. The size of the opportunity hasn’t escaped him. 

“I was speaking to my manager, Lee Eaton, about this the other day,” Welland, 3-0 (2 KOs), told BoxingScene. “With terrestrial TV, people just have it on in the background and if two people start having a tear up, they just get invested in it and start watching. Hopefully this’ll bump up my profile a bit and people will start watching me a bit more and taking note.

“This is a big step up. The guy I’m boxing is good. I think he’s had 37 fights and won 24. He’s got eight stoppages. He’s been stopped a few times but it’s a step up. I’m on the live broadcast so hopefully this should be a coming out party. 

“It’s my debut on Channel 5 so I definitely want to impress.”

Welland certainly has the type of style to make people put down the remote control and pay attention but don’t expect him to get carried away.

Earlier this year, rather than racking up extra rounds of ego boosting sparring at home, Welland took himself out of his comfort zone and travelled to Los Angeles where he shared some rounds with Bruce Carrington. He found out why the undefeated featherweight was recently voted Prospect of the Year by Ring Magazine.

Welland was talented enough to represent England as an amateur and still has hopes of boxing for the Philippines in this summer’s Olympic Games in Paris – his mother is a Filipina – but he found out just how priceless experience, composure and patience are in professional boxing. 

“In my second fight I went the distance and realised that this isn’t the same as amateur boxing. You have to be smart. I had a tough spar in America with Bruce Carrington. I realised I’m very good at what I do but I need to be cleverer with it and pick my moments,” he said.

“We were doing four minute rounds with 30 seconds rest. That wasn’t too much of a shock because I’m quite fit but in terms of pace and picking your moments, he was just so far in front of me. The first couple of rounds we had a battle of the jabs and there might have been a right hand here or a left hook there. Maybe a left hook to the body. I put my shots together a lot earlier than he did. He just soaked it up, took them on the gloves and he wasn’t really using any energy. 

“When we got to the stage where I wasn’t putting my shots together as much as I was – just because I realised he was soaking it up – that’s when he stepped it up. It taught me that a lot of these pros are gonna weather the storm and pick their moments.” 

The rounds he shared with Carrington may just prevent Welland from falling into the same trap that lots of young fighters do.

Up and down the country, week after week, inexperienced boxers study their opponent’s record on BoxRec and decide that although they might have taken a long list of prospects the distance, there is absolutely no way that somebody with that amount of losses will be able to last the course with them.

Eager to make a statement, they storm out at the opening bell and load up on every shot. By the time it dawns on them that they have been tricked they have neither the energy nor time to go about things differently and although they go home with the win, they end up providing the journeyman with another straightforward night’s work.

Welland seems to be blessed with the ability to sense the right moment to pounce for a finish. If we now see him begin to pace his attacks and create more of those moments, his experience with Carrington will have taught him a valuable lesson and probably accelerate his development more than five routine victories over journeymen would have. 

“We worked on that a lot earlier this year and I think you saw that in my last fight. I was quite relaxed, picked my moments and as soon as the opportunity was there, I jumped on him,” he said. “You saw the punches being put together and the power punches and I got him out of there quite quickly. It’s all coming together. 

“In my first fight I was thinking, ‘I wanna go now’ but the moment wasn’t there. Last time I noticed a lot of negative behavior in the opponent. As soon as I hit him and saw those reactions, it was fairly straightforward. I jumped on him and got him out of there. It’s about not playing my hand too early. “

Welland is aiming to put his lessons into practice against Solano. The Nicaraguan may have slipped into the role of opponent in recent times but he used to be a championship caliber fighter and has won ranking belts at super flyweight. 

“I boxed a journeyman in my first fight but that doesn’t bring the best out of me,” Welland said. “You don’t really learn. I wanted a bit of a fear factor. Yuri Zanoli was a tough, tough man. Esteban Troetsch last time was a very tall, big man. This time we’ve got someone with a good record and experience. With that fear factor you’ll see the best out of me.”