ON Friday night in Orlando, Florida two veteran heavyweights met in a must-win bout. Malik Scott, aged 35, faced Tony Thompson, nine years older at 44, and in the end the younger man’s speed told. Scott won the ten rounder via unanimous decision, the scores for him being 98-91, 96-93 and a much closer 95-94. Now 38-2-1(13) and two wins removed from his disastrous one-round KO loss at the hands of current WBC champ Deontay Wilder, Scott survived a knockdown to get the win over Thompson, who is now 40-6(27).
Scott used his faster legs to outmanoeuvre the somewhat plodding Thompson and he built up points whilst also staying out of danger pretty much all night. The only scare came for Scott in the ninth round, when Thompson finally landed with his right hand, a heavy blow sending Scott to the canvas. Hurt, Scott managed to see out the remainder of the round and see out the 10th and final session to pick up his first win of 2015.
Later on, both men spoke about the fight that went out on Bounce TV.
“My skill set was good, but this is one of those tapes I will have to look at when I get home,” Scott said. “Tony got away with a lot. I was making him miss and not making him pay. But let’s not forget, I haven’t fought for a whole year. I have to get more active. After this fight, we’ll see what’s next. I was hurt in the ninth, definitely. But I’m in great shape and I wasn’t worried about it. Tony’s legs are very slow, so I was just losing him with the feet all night long.”
The vanquished Thompson admitted his rival was too fast for him:
“Malik did a great job staying away until I was able to catch him with one good shot,” Thompson said. “He was just too fast. A prime Tony Thompson would have kicked his ass, but I’m 44 and the years are starting to pile up. He just pitty-patted his way to victory. I would rate my performance a D at best. I was the aggressor but I didn’t cut him off until late in the fight. It was an outstanding performance by Malik. He did what he’s supposed to do to an older fighter.”
Thompson spoke with Boxing News earlier this year and he said he hoped for one last title shot before calling it a day. But now, in light of this latest defeat, it’s hard to see where he goes next. Scott says he wants to be more active and he could engage in some interesting match-ups. Which is not something anyone would have said after his early, tame defeat at the hands of Wilder back in March of last year.