Tony “The Tiger” Thompson To Return To Action On Williams-Martinez II Card

By James Slater: 39-year-old southpaw Tony “The Tiger” Thompson, who might just be the best U.S heavyweight out there right now, returns to action next month, on the under-card of the eagerly anticipated rematch between middleweight champ Sergio Martinez and Paul Williams. Thompson, inactive since injuring his shoulder back in the spring, will face a TBA in what will be his first fight in over seven months.

Currently sparring with WBA heavyweight champ David Haye, as Haye gets ready to defend against the southpaw challenge of Audley Harrison, Thompson will have gotten himself in great shape it’s safe to assume. So, even though he has not fought since his April hammering of Owen “What The Heck” Beck, Thompson, 34-2(22) will not be too rusty at all.

Look around at the U.S big men, and it’s likely Thompson is the only guy around even close to capable of bringing a belt back home. Sure, Thompson lost in his big chance against Wladimir Klitschko back in the summer of 2008, being stopped in the 11th-round, but in hindsight that wasn’t anywhere near as bad an effort as it was made out to be at the time. Heck, Thompson even won himself a couple of rounds in the fight! Who else has done that against “Dr. Steel Hammer” recently? Certainly not Hasim Rahman or “Fast” Eddie Chambers, the two American challengers Wladimir has faced since beating Thompson.

So, seeing as how he was carrying an apparent leg injury in the July 2008 fight, and seeing how well he did (at least in comparison to other U.S challengers of Wladimir), it’s easy to see why Thompson wants another crack at the world champion. Having won three in a row since the loss to Kitschko (only the second loss of his pro career, and the only stoppage loss), Thompson looked pretty good in halting Chazz Witherspoon and Beck. It will be interesting to see who he fights on November 20th, but should he get himself a couple of notable wins, Thompson could be back in there fighting for a title next year.

But while a rematch with Wladimir or a fight with WBC king Vitali Klitschko are both unlikely and probably only of a slight interest to fans, a Thompson challenge of Haye would be very interesting. However, now that he no doubt knows Haye’s style and approach very well due to the sparring, this fight too looks somewhat unlikely to happen. But Thompson won’t go away. He will continue to box and if he continues to win, a second title chance will remain in his sights.

And again, if Shannon Briggs, Eddie Chambers, Chris Arreola, Kevin Johnson and all the other recent U.S challengers of the Klitschkos cannot bring a belt back to America, who else is there capable of doing so but Thompson?

Article posted on 28.10.2010

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