By: Jon Campbell
On Saturday 7th of July at the Stade de Suisse in Bern, Switzerland, long-time Unified Heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko (57-3) defends his crown against American contender and former victim Tony ‘The Tiger’ Thompson (36-2). This bout will be for Klitschko’s WBA (super), WBO, IBF, IBO and ‘The Ring’ titles.
He has already crushed Thompson’s challenge to his title in 2008, since then however Thompson has impressed. He is now the back in contention as the mandatory challenger due to a string of victories against viable contenders, including Harris, Beck, Witherspoon, Guinn and Timor Ibragimov. Well on the wrong side of 35, Klitschko will be looking to retain his titles and dominance and end his career as the champion.
Wladimir, the younger brother to current WBC champion Vitali, has been undefeated a staggering eight years. Since winning the world title for the second time against Chris Byrd, he has won every major title available besides his brothers and has completely dominated the division, clearing up all comers with ease. His reign has consisted of wins against the likes of Chambers, Haye, Sultan Ibragimov, Peter, Chagaev and Brock.
There is little about this athlete who is not impressive by any standards, he has a tremendous 50 Knockouts in his career, giving him a K.O percentage of 88%. Moreover, unlike very few fighters in history, he has seldom lost a single round.
The first fight between these two was not a very eventful affair. It was a typical Klitschko bout in which he simply boxes his way to victory in every round, Thompson came in confidant but like many others who have arrived believing they have a plan, have quickly realized it is more difficult than they fought and merely wish to survive throughout the late rounds.
I do expect Thompson to come into the ring with an understanding of Klitschko’s abilities and usual patient style and will surely not be going in unless he honestly believes he has a shot at upsetting the big man. I do personally struggle to see how he can do this simply due to Klitschko’s superior skills and physicality, but I will speculate that, like most, he will attempt to get in between Wladimir’s long arms and throw bombs upwards through the middle.
To conclude, I am quite certain that Klitschko, like last time, will not face many difficulties in defending his titles come Saturday. I do not think he will be any more or less convincing in doing so as Thompson is one of the better challengers he has faced and has proven his worth amongst good fighters throughout his career. Not only this but Thompson is durable and will not roll on his back. For these reasons I see a Klitschko late stoppage similarly to last time. This will follow a white wash by Wladimir in which he takes practically every round.
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