Tony Thompson is looking forward to his upcoming rematch with Wladimir Klitschko, likely to happen in July. (Photo by Goossen Tutor Promotions/Craig Bennett)
Tony Thompson, the American heavyweight contender who has been in the ring with Wladimir Klitschko once before, is looking forward to his IBF ordered rematch with the Ukrainian world heavyweight champion, which is likely to come in July.
On Saturday, Klitschko scored the 50th knockout win of his career by demolishing a totally ineffective and overmatched Jean Marc Mormeck in Germany, winning the fight in four of the most absurdly lopsided rounds you will ever see.
Thompson (36-2, 24 KO) wasn't impressed, for the same reason that most boxing fans and pundits were not impressed.
"I wasn't really impressed with either performance," he said. "It was an infomercial at best. Mormeck is a tough cruiserweight but he's not an impressive opponent for the heavyweight champion of the world."
Klitschko (57-3, 50 KO) did his best to sell the awful fight, and did draw a good house in Düsseldorf, as well as a pretty massive TV rating in Germany, attracting 12.26 million viewers on RTL, according to John Chavez of The Boxing Truth. But the lasting image is going to be that of Klitschko all but toying, like a lion facing a mouse, with a man who was nearly a foot shorter and had nothing to offer, a man who landed a whopping three punches in three-plus rounds, and barely threw any in the first place.
Thompson, now 40, lost to Klitschko in 2008 by 11th round knockout. Though he is considered one of the men who did the best against Wladimir or Vitali in recent years -- in fact, perhaps the man who put up the best fight against either brother -- he still lost eight or nine of the ten rounds that were scored, according to the three judges ringside, and that was consistent with what Bad Left Hook had it (98-92) at the time of stoppage, as well as most observers.
Thompson was set to face Eddie Chambers last October in a title eliminator, but Chambers pulled out of the fight, and "The Tiger" hasn't fought since May 2011, when he wiped out a hapless-looking Maurice Harris on Friday Night Fights. It can't go without saying that Thompson didn't look his best that night, but he also never really got a chance to even get warm, and Harris wasn't making it easy to look good, either -- and not because of skill level, but because it was just a messy fight.
Surely Thompson wishes he could have done more to convince the public he deserved the rematch with Wladimir, and he did intend to do more by facing Chambers. But when the IBF rules that you're the new mandatory challenger, you can't turn it down -- Thompson knows that he's not likely to get more chances at grasping the crown.
"I knew my shot was next, and I'm doing everything to solely focus on beating him," said Thompson of Klitschko.
"I just want to fight, point blank. It doesn't matter to me where it takes place. If he wants to come over here, great. If he wants to fight in Germany, that's great too."
And fight night, wherever it's held, can't come soon enough for the American.
"I'm ready. I'm done waiting for this part of my life to be over and I'm looking forward to becoming the heavyweight champion of the world."