Dan Goossen is hoping he can convince Wladimir Klitschko to return to the United States to defend his world heavyweight championship this summer against Tony Thompson in an IBF-mandated rematch, and Washington, DC, is his target for the bout, giving Thompson home field in a fight nobody really thinks he can win.
From Jake Donovan:
"We can sell out the Verizon Center and make this the biggest fight in America in quite some time. ... I’ll do all I can to bring this fight to the U.S. Regarding the 85/15 split, I think that has more to do where they want the fight to take place more than anything else. My perception was never geared on percentages, but providing the right stage for a fight of this magnitude."
Klitschko vs Thompson II in the Verizon Center wouldn't be, in any way, the biggest fight in American in quite some time, unless he just means heavyweight fights, but I do like the idea.
Wladimir can always go back to Germany next and rematch Jean Marc Mormeck or fight Montell Griffin or Epifanio Mendoza and sell out an arena, and I just think it would be nice for the world heavyweight champion to come fight in the States once in a while. I understand why he mostly stays where he is (the money's good, the crowds exist, and they like getting their own way), but once every four years in the States would be cool. He hasn't fought here since his dreadful fight with Sultan Ibragimov in 2008, a fight so bad that Wladimir won't fight in America anymore and Ibragimov won't fight at all.
Klitschko (57-3, 50 KO) is coming off of a rightly criticized waste of everyone's time against Mormeck on March 3, a fight where he might as well have tried a southpaw stance and wearing just one shoe for as competitive as it was on paper, turning out even worse in the ring, if possible. Thompson (36-2, 24 KO) has won five straight since losing to Klitschko in 2008 (the fight after Ibragimov for Wladimir), but none of the opponents have been particularly good and nobody feels that Thompson has any real shot to beat Wladimir. He couldn't do it four years ago, and it's not as if he's gotten better, now at age 40.
If it doesn't come to the U.S., which I doubt it will, I get it. But Wladimir has said he wants to come over and fight here again. I know he's already seen oceans and palm trees and black people, and thus there's not as much incentive for him to come back as there was to come around the first few times.
I suspect part of the hang-up would be that U.S. TV is not going to be knocking down his door to pick up this fight, and it would air live very early in the morning or very late at night in the European markets, even if they started at 6 p.m. EDT or something.