Ukraine’s Wladimir Klitschko easily defended his WBA, IBF, and WBO world heavyweight titles in Berne, Switzerland on July 7 when he stopped American Tony Thompson of Washington, DC in the sixth round. Klitschko and Thompson had met previously in 2008 with Klitschko knocking him out in the11th round. With the win the 36-year-old Klitschko raised his record to 58-3 with 51 of them coming by KO, while the 40-year-old Thompson dropped to 36-3 with 24 KOS.
It wasn’t the most exciting of title fights and with Klitschko and his brother Vitali dominating the heavyweight division for the last few years, public interest in the weight class is waning. As expected, Thompson fought cautiously even though he had almost taken Klitschko the distance in their first fight. However, he knows what damage the Ukrainian’s right hand can do.
The fight turned into a bit of a wrestling match in the second round with Klitschko tackling Thompson to the canvas a couple of times. Thompson’s first effective punch of the fight came in the third round when he landed a decent left hand to the head of the champion.
Klitschko landed a tremendous straight right hand to Thompson’s head late in the fifth round which sent the challenger reeling to the deck. Thompson beat the count and had a minute to recover between rounds. It wasn’t enough though as the champion caught up with him again late in the sixth and landed another right. He then muscled Thompson to the canvas and the referee Sam Williams waved off the bout at the 2:56 mark. The win was Klitschko’s 19th in world title fights against just two losses.
Thompson isn’t one of the most well known heavyweights out there, but he’s had a decent career, especially when you consider that he didn’t turn pro until the advanced age of 27. He’s only lost three fights and two of those were to Klitschko. He didn’t mention retirement after the bout, but with Vitali Klitschko being the other heavyweight champion (WBC), it’s doubtful he’ll get another world title shot.
After the fight Klitschko said that Thompson isn’t an easy guy to box because of his southpaw stance and he had trouble with him in both bouts because he’s actually hard to hit. He said he was satisfied with the win especially since it came five rounds earlier than in their first meeting four years ago.
Thompson said Klitschko caught him with a couple of great shots, but he wasn’t feeling any after affects after the contest. He said Klitschko’s the strongest fighter he’s ever faced and he’s not one of the world’s heavyweight champions for nothing. Klitschko is running out of opponents in the division and there’s no chance he’ll take on his brother to unify the title. The only up-and-coming heavyweight making any noise at the moment is 27-year-old American Bryant Jennings and a fight against him could be interesting.
Meanwhile Vitali Klitschko will be defending his WBC heavyweight belt on Sept. 8 when he travels to Moscow to take on German challenger Manuel Charr.