AS he enters the final stages of an eventful career which has encompassed two world title shots, several big upset victories and a drug ban – from the British Boxing of Board Control – Washington DC heavyweight Tony Thompson is seeking one or two notable triumphs on which to say farewell. Having twice stopped David Price on British shores – testing positive for the diuretic and masking agent, hydrochlorothiazide, after the rematch – the 18-month suspension handed out to Thompson has not dissuaded the 6ft 5in southpaw from boxing in the UK and he has his sights set on one hot prospect in particular.
“There’s a few fights I need to get out of my system before I retire, including Anthony Joshua,” Thompson told Boxing News. “First of all, I love England, how passionate the fans are over there, I love the boxing scene in England, period. Secondly, Joshua is the heavyweight scene in England right now. What better way for me to go out than by taking out the two biggest UK hopefuls before I leave boxing?
“I think he’s a great talent, I know he’ll be a great heavyweight champion someday but right now I see plenty of flaws I can take advantage of. It’s a winnable fight for me. If they [Joshua’s team] are looking to fight me it better be to test their guy to the fullest because that’s what’s gonna happen. People are scared to death of me still, they could have had this fight sooner if they wanted to. We’re gonna have to see what balls Joshua and his team got.”
There are a number of obstacles that must be surmounted before a potential Thompson-Joshua fight can come to fruition, not least the undefeated Watford man’s vacant British title showdown with his former amateur conqueror Dillian Whyte on December 12 in London. The Board would have to take Thompson’s previous suspension into consideration if he were to apply to box here once again, and Tony is coming off a defeat, in October to Malik Scott. Though Thompson dropped his rival in the penultimate session of a 10-rounder, he could not finish the job ad was outscored, although he believes he knows why.
“For me, it’s all in the conditioning,” he explained. “I woulda chased him down better if I had been in better conditioning but I ran out of energy. That was due to a multitude of things, I had a car accident, not major but it was enough to derail training and at age 44 I don’t recover as much as I used to.”