If you aren’t familiar with 21 year-old Thomas Hill (6-0, 1 KO) it’s probably due to the fact he hasn’t been televised nationally yet, not because he isn’t good. Hill, a 6’1” junior middleweight, signed with Al Haymon before his pro debut in 2014 when a fellow fighter/contender he grew up with made the introduction. “[I have] a friend named Errol Spence and he connected me with a guy that works for Al. We were talking and he was like, ‘I heard a lot of great things about this guy so we might as well sign him.’ Then they ended up signing me,” Hill said.
Fighters from all over the world converge upon Las Vegas with hopes of signing to Haymon because they know he will get them heavy exposure and big paydays. For Hill the opportunity to join Haymon’s team has been a blessing and like all fighters under Haymon’s banner, his experience has been first-rate from day one. “I have no bad things to say about him. I appreciate how he’s moving me and how everything is going. I have no complaints, man. Great guy.”
Being signed to Al Haymon and training out of Mayweather’s gym puts Hill two steps ahead of most of the competition. Haymon is one of the most influential managers in the sport and the Mayweather Boxing Club is the Mecca of boxing on the West Coast. Nearly all of the biggest names in boxing pass through or train at Mayweather’s gym, and Hill is fortunate enough to share the ring with them on a regular basis when sparring.
I watch a lot of old school boxing and I like Thomas Hearns . . . [and] Gerald McClellan.
“It’s exciting, bro. It’s very helpful just by being in the game of boxing because these guys are at the top and you’re learning from the people that’s at the top of the game. It’s kind of like cheating. Like getting the answers to the test already. Just being able to get in there and work with those guys, learn from those guys, and see what mistakes other people made so you don’t make them. You got guys with tons of experience you can get in there and work with and different styles that come to the gym, so it’s just a lot of great work. [In] the game of boxing, you never know everything, you just keep learning,” Hill explained.
If you ask Hill to describe his style, he will tell you he’s a boxer/puncher influenced by an array of fighters. “I watch a lot of old school boxing and I like Thomas Hearns . . . [and] Gerald McClellan. Also, Erislandy Lara, Demetrius Andrade, and Errol Spence. A lot of my favorite fighters are southpaws, to be honest.”
“It’s just a coincidence I happen to like a lot of the southpaw style fighters. Those fighters I named, a lot of people can’t touch them or deal with them, period . . . I see how they fight and how they destroy everything and run over everything in their path, so those are the ones I favor,” Hill continued.
His style is different from the fighters he’s most inspired by, and despite having just 1 KO in his first six fights, he likes to bring the action. Since Hill is a 6’1” junior middleweight, he has the luxury of choosing when he wants to box or bang.
I think I can improve on everything. Basically, being more patient and setting things up, attacking the body more, and not being so tall.
“It definitely gives me an advantage because if I use my jab it makes the fights a lot easier. But, you know, I be wanting to stop people so I try to fight more. The only way it works against me is when I’m trying to get on the inside and go to the body because I’m so long and tall I have to get real small to do it.”
Hill’s trainers, Eddie Mustafa Muhammad and Dewey Cooper, are turning him into a smarter and stronger fighter with a high ring IQ. Hill is eager to learn and embraces the wisdom they try to impart. “I think I can improve on everything. Basically, being more patient and setting things up, attacking the body more, and not being so tall. Being where I can switch levels being tall and going to the body by bending my legs more,” Hill noted.
Those things will come with time but if his UD win last week against Tavorus Teague is any indication, it looks like he’s on the right track. “I felt I was real sharp in my last performance. I felt I can do a lot more but. . . it’s all gonna come slowly but surely.” For Hill the sky is the limit and you can be certain he will appear on your screen in the near future. “I just expect to keep winning, bro – Just more wins to come, building up my name and my rank til I get to where I need to be.”
For the latest on what’s good with Thomas Hill, hit him on Twitter.