Boxing


Can Tony Thompson Show More “Tiger” And Possibly Do Any Better In A Return With Wladimir Klitschko?

By James Slater: It could be argued that if there is a heavyweight on the planet capable of defeating Wladimir Klitschko we haven’t heard of him yet. For unless there is some young, hungry, talented, powerful, rock-chinned approx 240-pounder lurking somewhere in a gym quietly honing his craft as he prepares to launch himself on an unsuspecting heavyweight division, world ruler Wladimir Klitschko’s belts are perfectly safe.

That’s how good 35-year-old Wladimir is: there are absolutely no adequate challengers out there for him that we know about - at least this is what 99-percent of the fans will tell you. Of course, guys like Chris Arreola, Tony Thompson and maybe one or two other guys and their trainers will tell you differently, insisting they have what it takes to shock “Dr. Steel Hammer,” but not too many people are willing to listen anymore. Klitschko is unbeatable right now. It’s that simple.

But it does look as though it will be rematch time for the Ring Magazine, WBA, IBF, WBO, IBO king in his next fight. Very much wanting to keep hold of his IBF belt, Wladimir has said it will probably be Thompson next in a mandatory. No-one outside of a diehard Thompson fan will get overly excited if the 40-year-old “Tiger” does step in with Klitschko in the summer; after all, Wladimir has already beaten the tall southpaw by 11th-round stoppage. But of the available contenders out there, Thompson, 36-2(24) overall and 5-0(5) since his July 2008 loss to Wladimir, is arguably the best of the bunch.

Not only is Thompson tall enough and in possession of a long enough reach to be able to lay a hand on Wladimir (Thompson did manage to win a round or two back in 2008), but he carried a leg injury into the first fight; one that the Washington D.C man says affected his movement and therefore his game-plan. The athletic southpaw also has a fine jab, possibly the third best in the current heavyweight division. Add all these factors up and throw in the possibility that Thompson will show more devil (or “Tiger”) in the rematch, and we have a fight that, though still a relative tough sell, just might prove intriguing enough for some.

Certainly, Thompson can do no worse than Jean Marc Mormeck (who, quite stupefying, went on record shortly after his utter destruction at the hands of Klitschko, and claimed the fight was stopped too soon!).

Thompson, along with fighting the best heavyweight on the planet (some are now saying the best heavyweight of the last ten or fifteen years or so), faces two big problems: his age and his recent inactivity. Just one fight since November of 2010 cannot be a good thing for a 40-year-old boxer. Thompson will give it a go in the return, but in all reality his chances of pulling off the upset look very, very slim indeed. As do everyone else’s.

Article posted on 05.03.2012



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