Thompson out of Washington DC is a southpaw who earned his first title shot with Klitschko who joined together an eight year, 27 winning streak fight record. Since his defeat in 2008 against Wladamir Klitschko he has risen to the top of the IBF ratings by winning his five latest fights, and all of them have been by knockout, including stoppages of Chazz Witherspoon and Owen Beck.
In his open media workout at the beginning of the week he was supported by Seth Mitchell and worked the speed bag and the jumping rope in the “Headbangers Gym” He talked about his previous fight with him and called himself and idiot, “You’d be an absolute idiot to stay in a straight line with him and that’s exactly what I was, I was an idiot.”
He has been going from strength to strength recently even though he suffered a sore knee previously against Klitschko and his trainer Barry Hunter realised his fighter was weak, now Thompson is stronger and has great endurance and is mentally prepared as he gives the impression that this may be the final time he will get this chance to win the heavyweight title.
DAILY SPORT interviewed Tony Thompson ahead of this journey to Switzerland about his re-match fight, training and personal thoughts on his heavyweight fight ahead on 7th July against Wladimir Klitschko. There are four titles available for Thompson if he wins they will be the Ring, IBF, WBO and WBA Heavyweight titles.
Samaarah – Hello Tony hope you are well and thank you for doing this interview, did this fight with Wladimir Klitschko come quite of surprise for you, as there was talk that he may either fight you or Chris Areolla, how was this fight made?
Tony Thompson – The fight was made because I am the mandatory known challenger. And then he would have lost the belt if he would not have taken the fight.
Samaarah – You’re on your 25th winning streak now and you’ve had an excellent career so far, is there a strong possibility you can make the downfall of the biggest name in the heavyweight division, how do you think you and your camp are going to tackle things in the last these last 3 weeks left before the fight?
Tony Thompson- Yes! If I continue to work hard and stay in condition and stick to the game plan.
Samaarah – When do you plan to fly to Switzerland as you both agreed to fight on mutual ground, what has happened since that initial press conference and are you fully prepared?
Tony Thompson - I am flying out this week the 26th of June. And of course I am fully prepared.
Samaarah – The first fight against Wladimir was some years back in 2006, we hear that he is not taking you seriously enough this time what do you say about that, and what do you say to his fans as your confidence is on a very high level as you’ve won 5 fights since then and he didn’t have a choice as it made you the IBF mandatory challenger?
Tony Thompson- I don’t think he is looking past me, he is a professional, and if he does that is his mistake.
Samaarah – This must be real exciting times for you, what impact has this re-match made on you and your family and fans and do you know if there is going to be a strong following for you in Switzerland?
Tony Thompson - Very exciting time for me and my family. And I don’t know about Switzerland, but hopefully they will come out and support the fight, and I will give them a reason to cheer for me during the fight.
Samaarah – You’re called “The Tiger” how did that nickname come about for you?
Tony Thompson – A nickname my kids gave me.
Samaarah – Your fights don’t go without a little drama, on one occasion your boxing shoes were stolen, however you still won the fight after you borrowed a pair, what are you expecting in the build up of when you arrive in Switzerland and do you have a good entourage?
Tony Thompson – I don’t have an entourage, but a team. And I don’t expect any mistakes to be made on their part, so it’s all up to me.
Samaarah – Now Wladimir has got a lot on stake to lose if you win, the WBA, IBF and WBO Heavyweight titles are on the line for him, if you lose will you be looking at retirement and if you win what will you do in the future ?
Tony Thompson – When I win, I will defend the belts like a true champions and take on all the top fighters, and show the world why I deserve to be the champion.
Samaarah – Wladimir has stated that you gave him a tough time during the first fight against him, what can he expect of you on this occasion?
Tony Thompson – A better, stronger, me.
Samaarah – What other things do you like to do whilst you’re not boxing in your free time and do you have any words for young fighters out there and your female fans?
Tony Thompson – Work hard and go for your dreams, and don’t let anyone tell you what you can or cannot do!
This fight will take place at the Stade de Suisse in Bern, Switzerland, and it will be televised in the U.S. exclusively on EPIX, the multiplatform premium entertainment service. EpixHD.com will stream the fight live as part of the special free offer for boxing fans. The telecast and the live stream will begin at 5.00 p.m ET / 2.p.m PT on July 7th. In the UK it will be televised by a yet to be named network.