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Tony ‘The Tiger’ Crushes Olympic Champion David Price
They say that one punch can change a fight in the heavyweight division.Tony Thompson, at age 41, proved that theory to be true (yet again) last Saturday.Thompson (37-3, 25 KOs), known as ‘Tony The Tiger,’ changed the landscape of the heavyweight division with a stunning second round knockout of 2008 Olympic bronze medalist, David Price (15-1, 13 KOs) in his native Liverpool, England.
The 6’ 8,” 260-pound Price was a promising prospect with aspirations of one day challenging Wladimir Klitschko for the unified IBF/WBA and WBO/IBO/Ring Magazine heavyweight championships. Price was being often compared to Klitschko’s 6′ 7,” 245-pound size and power. Those comparisons don’t mean anything, as Price was KO’d by a guy Wladimir sparred with years ago and knocked out twice (2008, 2012) in world title defenses.
“I’ve been knocking people out,” Price said afterwards. “I’m not invincible. Anyone can get caught or hurt.”
Price went on to say that anyone can be hurt inside a boxing ring and that this loss can turn into a positive, which may be true. Wladimir Klitschko himself was knocked out three times in his career, but hasn’t lost a fight in nearly nine years. Klitschko, with the help of late trainer Emmanuel Steward, redefined his style, reshaped the heavyweight division, and is recognized as one of the greatest heavyweight champions in recent history.
Price can come back if he wants it as bad as Klitschko did.
“It’s not the end of the world,” Price added.
To the victor goes the spoil, as Tony Thompson, an African-American from Washington, D.C., emerged from being one of the most unrecognizable fighters in the world, to one of the most dangerous. Thompson, 6’ 5,” 250-pounds, is a big southpaw with very good skills. He isn’t the fast guy, nor is he the strongest. He did give Wladimir a run for his money when they fought for the first time in 2008. Thompson took Wladimir’s jab away in the early rounds and really challenged him mentally. But Wladimir fund a way to land his straight-right before ultimately outclassing Thompson with better boxing technical and a variety of punches before knocking Thompson out in the eleventh round.
During the rematch, Klitschko was simply too explosive for Thompson and took him in six rounds.
Price wanted to measure himself to Klitschko by fighting a common opponent. Price had destroyed 2004 Olympic gold medalist Audley Harrison and Matt Skelton in previous bouts. Price was beginning to be looked at as a serious heavyweight title contender despite having had a 15-0 record. Thompson would have been a nice addition to Price’s win column, but must settle for a los instead. A stiff right-hand behind Price’s ear took the strength from his legs away.
“I wasn’t shocked by the finish at all,” Thompson said. “A lot of people were writing my career off before me and my team. But my wife gave me the ‘Rocky’ speech to get back in there and fight.”
Not only did Price’s legs go away, but so did lucrative fights against Tyson Fury and a possible title challenge.
In recent months, undefeated heavyweights like Price and Seth Mitchell were blown away in two rounds. Klitschko isn’t going to fight Thompson a third time. Jonathan Banks (Mitchell’s conqueror) has assumed all training responsibilities for Klitschko in wake of Steward’s passing last October. Klitschko really doesn’t have anyone available to fight at this time.
Let’s not talk about Alexander Povetkin.
As for Thompson, he has earned at least another fight n a big spot. Doors will continue to open for Thompson, as long as he can keep winning. Thompson’s last eight victories occurred by knockout. Thompson, a left-handed fighter, is very a dangerous heavyweight right now.