Body Blows: Klitschko/Thompson

Wladimir Klitschko defends his IBF and WBO heavyweight titles against Tony Thompson. Thompson is the furthest thing from a sexy heavyweight opponent, especially against the recognized top dog in the division, but Thompson has only one career loss. It warrants mentioning that Thompson’s 31-1 record has come against a very soft schedule. Given the lack of credibility of his opponent, this matchup has garnered next to no buzz. To make my point, HBO’s bio of Tony Thompson includes the caveat: Professional Sparring Partner. Who says boxing is in trouble?

Wladimir Klitschko vs. Tony Thompson (WBO/IBF Heavyweight Title)

It is 5 o’clock here in the United States. The bout is being aired live on HBO from Hamburg, Germany. I really hope this doesn’t last long. It’s still nice outside and I want to get involved in it. Hey, a Steve Francis sighting. The NBA player that was a star in his own mind, and maybe best known for being Cuttino Mobley’s BFF, is in Thompson’s entourage. Lampley promised me pagaentry for Wladimir Klirschko’s entrance and he lied to me. It was a standard ring walk.

The fight thankfully begins. This early evening fight time has really made me antsy for the fight to get over with. Tony is making himself easy to hit. That’s not a good strategy against one of the best jabs in boxing. Wladimir is being patient despite the openings. Thompson is busier in the first round but it felt like a feeling out process. Klitschko comes out with more fire in the second round and really imposes his will early. A clash of heads produces cuts over the right eyes of both fighters late in the second. At least that produces a vauge amount of intrigue. The referee actually ruled the cuts came from punches. The evidence seemed to lean towards a headbutt. The replays show I was right. In your face Joe Cortez.

The possible intrigue produced by the cuts were merely a tease. The fight retracts to boring levels by round five. Honestly, given the skills of Klitschko and lackthereof from Thompson, I think that Klitschko could dominate this fight if he just, you know…fought. Maybe he’s just sticking to a gameplan but Wladimir could easily put this guy out if he just applied constant pressure for a round or two. Can Wladimir really be in that bad of shape?

Thompson retreats to the corner in round seven and Klitschko still remains methodical. Bust him up, please! I can’t take this, I’m bringing up Free Cell. Thompson’s corner pleads with their charge to step it up. Really, Wladimir is not looking good tonight and it is giving Thompson the opportunity to take the title. He’s just not taking advantage of the oppportunity. Wladimir is undoubtedly leading on the cards but that doesn’t mean he’s fighting well, just better than his passive opponent. Alright, it’s official. This fight sucks. The ninth round has ended and the HBO team is comparing this to a sparring contest. Well, Thompson is a professional sparring partner. What did we expect? I love the sport of boxing but detest the politics of boxing. Tony Thompson is by all accounts a great guy, but he does not deserve to be in this position for a title. Wladimir is losing steam in his career. This is a second boring performance in a row. It’s one thing if he has been controlling with his jab (Thompson has actually landed more) but he’s not really doing that. It is just a flat out boring fight that has dampered my mood and delayed my opportunity to get out somewhere and actually enjoy myself.

Wladimir Klitschko tackles Thompson in the 10th round after stepping on his foot like a bad dance partner. Thompson milks the rest period and the crowd disapproves. Aren’t they soccer fans? Thompson’s corner basically tells their man that he sucks and is embarrassing himself. Entertainment is entertainment and I will take it any way I can get it at this point. The 11th round is more spirited and Klitschko puts Thompson on the canvas with a strong right hand. That’s the fight as Thompson just barely misses beating the count. Wladimir Klitschko retains his belts at 1:22 of the 11th round.

This is the bullshit I’m talking about. Wladimir knocked Thompson out basically because he tried to. He stepped up his activity rate and Thompson fell. Klitschko could have done this in the third round and I could already be three beers deep into my evening. This was a boring fight and by no means should you ever subject yourself to watching it.

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