Klitschko vs. Thompson: Heavyweight Championship Preview, Prediction
Saturday night, in Berne, Switzerland, Wladimir Klitschko 57-3 (50 KO's) takes on American challenger Tony Thompson 36-2 (24KO's). The fight will be a rematch of their 2008 matchup, in which Thompson gave a spirited effort, but was ultimately knocked out in the 11th round courtesy of a Klitschko right hand.
Thompson was able to make the fight competitive, and was able to land some solid shots against Klitschko. According to ESPN, Thompson said that he was injured going into the first fight four years ago, and that it hampered his performance and he'll be much better on Saturday.
Thompson is currently riding a five-fight win streak with all five victories coming by knockout. He's a solid fighter and despite being a big underdog he has a decent chance in the bout if he can get to Klitschko's body early, something that he tried to do in their first fight, but ultimately abandoned.
With Wladimir Klitschko, you know what you're going to get. He's 6'6", 250 pounds, and has some of the best one-punch knockout power of anyone in the last 25 years. In order to beat Thompson, Klitschko doesn't have to do anything special, he just had to be Wladimir Klitschko.
By that I mean he has to simply fight behind his jab and keep Thompson at his preferred distance. If Klitschko can do that, he wins the fight. If Thompson can make Wlad uncomfortable and can land early and often, we may have a fight on our hands.
I'll take the former and say that Klitschko wins this fight relatively easily, but that Thompson will make it competitive and have a few good moments. I'll call it a ninth-round KO for Klitschko on a jab, right-cross, left-hook combination that puts out Thompson's lights.
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