ALTHOUGH he has stopped short of making any official announcement, veteran heavyweight Tony Thompson says he is thinking about calling it a day on his 15 year career and retiring. The tall southpaw was out-speeded by Malik Scott on October 3 and Thompson largely put the loss down to his age. Now 44 and having had two cracks at the world heavyweight title, “The Tiger,” as the man from Washington D.C is known, had been hoping for a third crack at the title. But now, after suffering his sixth loss as a pro, Thompson says he may have reached the end.
“I don’t know what’s next for me right now. It might be time to retire,” Thompson said to Boxing News today.
Earlier this year, Thompson told BN how he hoped to make one last run at the title before calling it a day by the end of next year. But the loss to Scott may have speeded up Thompson’s retirement date. A good fighter with skills, power and a reliable chin, Thompson defeated good names such as Timur Ibragimov, Luan Krasniqi and Odlanier Solis (twice) and the crafty southpaw made a big impact on British soil with his back-to-back stoppage wins of a then promising and heavily hyped David Price.
The two world title shots Thompson had came against Wladimir Klitschko, and Klitschko – who scored an 11th-round KO in 2008 and then a 6th-round TKO in a 2012 rematch – is the only man to have stopped Thompson.
When looking back on his career today, Thompson says the first fight with Klitschko was probably the highlight of his near 16-year career.
“[The highlight] was most probably the first fight with Wladimir, that was my best chance at winning the world title. But I wasn’t totally healthy for that fight; I had a torn knee. I’m not taking anything at all from Klitschko, he’s a great champion. But the torn knee affected me a whole lot. I was exhausted after the 3rd and 4th-rounds to be honest with you. I had no strength in my legs.”
Thompson had surgery on his knee after the July 2008 fight that took place in Hamburg, Germany, but the rematch proved even more devastating for him; with Klitschko getting the job done five rounds quicker in Switzerland. Then came the two wins over Price, and with them something of a career revival, before Thompson picked up points losses to Kubrat Pulev and Carlos Takam. Sandwiched in between the two losses was a split decision win over an out of shape Odlanier Solis, who Thompson again defeated, for what may well prove to be Tony’s final win, in February of this year.
If he were to fight again, he would love to box in the UK.
Thompson will never go down as a great, but he was a good, more than capable fighter who was always willing to fight the best, and in the backyards of his rivals at that.
If Thompson has punched for the final time his career record ends up at a more than respectable 40-6 (27).