Klitschko to “take risks” against Tiger Thompson
Biohotel Stanglwirt, Going, Austria, June 20 – In less than two weeks from now, world heavyweight boxing champion Wladimir Klitschko will face a man he met in the ring four years ago. In 2008 Tony “The Tiger” Thompson pushed Klitschko eleven hard and bloody rounds before the champion finally knocked out his American challenger.
Next month in Berne, Switzerland the two giant heavyweights will square up again in what most expect to be yet another easy night for the Ukrainian world champion. What’s important to note though is that this time the fight is a mandatory bout that the governing body, the IBF have insisted on. Klitschko holds their version of the world title and has done since April 2006 when he knocked out Chris Byrd and so he has little choice but to defend it for them.
How the IBF have promoted Thompson to the top of their list is the bigger mystery. Since the first fight in Hamburg, Thompson has only fought five times. All those bouts ended in a TKO but the last one, against fellow American Maurice Harris, happened more than one year ago.
At 36, Klitschko is four years younger than Thompson and has defended his titles a further six times adding the WBA strap of David Haye in that period. The Haye fight was the only one to go to the judges but on that night their decision was an easy one.
Klitschko rates The Tiger highly and has claimed that he would beat all the top heavyweights with the exception of his brother Vitali and that no one wants to fight him. With a record of 36-2 it’s understandable that underestimating Thompson, who claims to be in the best condition of his life, would be a huge mistake.
Between the two Klitschko brothers they hold all the major heavyweight world titles and their dominant reign in the division isn’t expected to end any time soon. Younger brother Wladimir defends all his belts at the Stade de Suisee in Berne, Switzerland on July 7th 2012.