TONY THOMPSON LOOKS TO IMPRESS IN ESPN2 “FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS”
MAIN EVENT ON APRIL 16 IN MEMPHIS
Photo credit: Jan Sanders/Goossen Tutor Promotions
“THE TIGER” LOOKING TO CLAW HIS WAY INTO ANOTHER WORLD TITLE SHOT
Los Angeles, CA (April 13, 2010) – On paper, Tony “The Tiger” Thompson may appear old for a boxer. But don’t judge this boxer by his birth certificate!
“Boxing matches aren’t contested on paper, they are fought inside a ring,” warns the 38-year old Silver Spring, Maryland-born, Washington, DC native, who takes on Jamaican veteran and former world title challenger Owen Beck (29-4, 20 KOs) in the April 16th, scheduled 10-round heavyweight main event of an ESPN2 “Friday Night Fights” telecast from the Omni New Daisy Theater in Memphis, Tennessee.
Thompson started his pro boxing career at age 28, a time when most successful fighters are in their prime. Co-managed by former NBA All-Star, Steve Francis and Nate Peake, and trained by Tom Browner and Barry Hunter, Thompson won 27 straight bouts following his first loss in his fifth pro fight, primarily utilizing an awkward but effective southpaw style which featured knockout power in both hands with an almost impenetrable defense.
The lanky 6-5, 250-pounder’s last opponent – 26-1 Chazz Witherspoon – 10 years his junior, learned that lesson the hard way, as Thompson put on a boxing clinic before stopping him in the ninth round in Atlantic City, New Jersey back in December with a barrage of power punches.
And now – thanks to an ankle injury suffered in training by originally-scheduled foe Jason Estrada — it’s the 33-year old Beck’s turn, as Thompson (33-2, 21 KOs), who lost via 11th round stoppage to Heavyweight World Champion Wladimir Klitschko back in July, 2008, has his “Eyes of the Tiger” focused on the next obstacle in his way toward a second World Heavyweight title shot.
“I am hungrier than before because I’m so much more experienced, both in and out of the ring,” Thompson said. “I need to get this win on ESPN, and then put my focus on getting one last opportunity to become World Champion. I’m big enough, good enough and most importantly, smart enough now to do it this time.”
“Tony is coming off a dominating win over a solid World Contender in Chazz Witherspoon and with Beck he brings KO power and experience against Tony,” Tom Brown, matchmaker for Thompson’s promoter, Goossen Tutor Promotions, said, noting that Beck was stopped by then-WBA Champion Nicolay Valuev in a June, 2006 WBA Heavyweight Title fight.
“Typical of Tony’s mindset, he doesn’t care who he is fighting. He’ll fight anyone and as he’s shown, anywhere. A good win over Beck on ESPN2 and Tony will be the beneficiary of great exposure in a great fight town.”
Thompson, whose other big wins came against the likes of once-beaten Timur Ibragimov in a WBC Continental Americas Title defense and Luan Krasniqi in a WBO Heavyweight Eliminator, feels that his combination of size, power and experience puts him in a class by himself of heavyweight title contenders.
“I may be 38, but I haven’t taken the punishment of a 28-year old much less a 38-year old,” Thompson pointed out. “I have a much younger body than others my age. Truth be told, I am the only big man that has a shot of beating the Klitschkos. I learned a lot from my first experience against Wladimir, and I know I am capable of beating him or his brother. Hopefully, everyone watching on ESPN2 on the 16th will feel the same way after I take care of Owen Beck.”