Boxing


Wladimir Klitschko-Tony Thompson II Set For July 7th; Most Likely In Switzerland

By James Slater: Whether you’re excited about it or not, Ring Magazine, WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight king Wladimir Klitschko will be meeting Washington D.C’s Tony Thompson next. The fight, as has been reported by ESPN.com, will go ahead on July 7th, most likely in Berne, Switzerland.

A mandatory defence for “Dr. Steel Hammer,” the fight is also a rematch. Back in the summer of 2008, 36-year-old Wladimir had a reasonably tough fight on his hands (he actually lost a couple of rounds!) before coming on strong and taking “The Tiger” out in the 11th-round.

It is due to this comprehensive win that many fans have a tough time getting overly excited about the rematch. To be fair, the 40-year-old southpaw was carrying a leg injury into the fight with him, one Thompson claims affected his movement and therefore his chances of winning. In light of how well Thompson did four years ago, maybe a fully fit version CAN do better in the sequel. But, as is the case with any fighter going in with the at-his-peak Klitschko, it’s a very big ask to expect him to pull off the upset.

Thompson, inactive since his May 2011 stoppage win over Maurice Harris, is talking a great fight, saying he is determined, even obsessed with KO’ing Klitschko. But at age 40 and after having had what will be well over a year of inactivity come fight night, the odds will be stacked firmly against “The Tiger.” However, although age 40 can be an age at which some fighters begin to fade and slow down badly, Thompson has not taken too much punishment and he doesn’t have too many miles on the clock at 36-2(24). Thompson is one of the freshest 40-year-olds around today. Thompson also has the size (6’5” and approx 250-pounds) and the jab needed to at least make the fight competitive.

I can see a repeat of the first fight, with Klitschko having a few problems before getting to his man late on. Maybe Thompson can even see the final bell this time. According to ESPN.com, TV network EPIX will likely show the fight.

Interestingly, ESPN.com also reports that Wladimir has “plans to fight at New York’s Madison Square Garden on November 10th, against Chris Arreola.” HBO is very much interested in televising this match-up, and providing he comes through against Thompson, and providing he picks up no debilitating injuries in the July bout, it looks like being Wladimir against “The Nightmare” next.

All due respect to Thompson - who will likely feel Wladimir is making a mistake by looking past him even a little bit - but Klitschko-Arreola DOES excite. The younger Klitschko brother looks set for an interesting remainder of the year. And rest assured, both Thompson and Arreola will do far, far better than the over-matched Jean Marc Mormeck did when he faced Wladimir earlier this month.

Article posted on 29.03.2012



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