This Saturday Lineal Heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko(57-3 50KO’s) defends his WBO, IBF, IBO & WBA Heavyweight title against veteran American challenger Tony “The Tiger” Thompson (36-2 34KO’s) in front of 30,000 fans at the Stade de Suisse in Berne, Switzerland.
This is a rematch of their 2008 contest in which Thompson gave the younger Klitschko brother his sternest contest in years before eventually suffering a knockout in the 11th round. Immediately after the fight Thompson cited a leg injury, a torn meniscus muscle, for his defeat.
Since then the 6’5” Thompson, now 40 years of age, has knocked out each of his 5 opponents, which earned him the position of mandatory challenger for the IBF, but hasn’t fought since stopping Maurice Harris, in May of last year.
Since he last faced Thompson, Wladimir has continued his dominance over the division with wins over Rahman, Chagaev, Chambers, Peter, Haye and Mormeck. The 6’6” Ukrainian is looking to continue his unbeaten streak, which stretches all the way back to 2004, when Lamon Brewster stopped him in his challenge for the vacant WBO belt.
In my opinion Thompson will once again give Klitschko problems. He is one of the few heavyweights who isn’t at a considerable physical disadvantage against Wladimir, but will eventually suffer defeat either by unanimous decision or late stoppage.
Here are the opinions of experts within the sport on the fight:
Deontay Wilder, 2008 Olympic Bronze medallist and Heavyweight prospect.
“I just want the best man and nothing but the best man in that ring to win.”
Ishe Smith, Light Middleweight and former Contender Contestant.
“The heavyweight division won’t be exciting till those guys (The Klitschko brothers) retire, they are that good, they just dominate everyone. Thompson chances are slim to none, and slim is outta town”
Richard Towers, EU Heavyweight Champion
“I think Thompson will be a handful for Klitschko but he’ll be too sharp for Thompson”
Peter Fury, Trainer of current Irish & former British, Commonwealth Heavyweight Champion Tyson Fury
“It’s going to be sword fencing until Klitschko finds a shot late on. Expect a no risk safety 1st winner, Klitschko by late stoppage/points”
Ryan Rhodes, Former British & European Light Middleweight Champion.
“I don’t think anyone can beat the Klitschkos just now, they just dominate everyone”
Dillian Whyte, UK Heavyweight Prospect
“Tony Thompson is a good fighter but I think he’s too old now, has lost all that hunger he had years ago and Wladimir beat him then. So I see Klitschko stopping him within 8 rounds”
Paul Jones, Former WBO Light Middleweight Champion
“I think even though they have fought before I think Klitschko is better than he was then and Thompson has beaten everyone he’s been in with since and fought his way back to number 1. So have to go with Klitschko on points but in a fight that doesn’t catch a fire.”
The fight will be televised on Epix in the USA and on Boxnation in the UK.