On Saturday night, the world of organized fighting will have plenty of options to choose from.
Even though UFC 148 may steal the show in the U.S. with an epic battle between Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen, the overseas boxing bout may end up being the more watch-worthy event. In Berne, Switzerland, Wladimir Klitschko will aim to defend his heavyweight championship against Tony Thompson.
The Ukrainian Klitschko got the best of Thompson in their first match in 2008, although the fight nearly went the distance before an 11th-round KO by Klitschko.
It was just one of two losses for Thompson's career so far, with a 36-2 record that includes 24 KOs. Klitschko is a stellar 57-3 for his career, with all but seven of those victories coming by knockout.
The showdown in Switzerland will undoubtedly be a debacle worth witnessing. Here's what some experts in the field think will go down.
ESPN Analyst Dan Rafael Picks Klitschko
ESPN boxing analyst and reporter Dan Rafael is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, names in the media of the sport. He's covered boxing as a member of ESPN since 2005 and spent five years with USA Today before making the move to Bristol, Conn.
You'd be hard pressed to find anybody in the industry who knows more about boxing.
On an ESPN SportsNation blog on the eve of the fight (Friday), Rafael answered the "who wins?" question simply enough:
"I think Klitschko stops him again."
It's not hard to see the motivation in his pick, as Klitschko is the odds-on favorite and a reigning champ.
B/R Boxing Specialist Chooses Klitschko to Defend
Bleacher Report's own boxing extraordinaire Ralph Longo thinks Klitschko should have little to no trouble winning this fight.
His preview piece on the bout indicates that Thompson was facing nagging injury troubles in the duo's 2008 fight, but that shouldn't keep the superior fighter from prevailing. Though, Longo outlines what Thompson could do to get himself in the fight.
(Klitschko) 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.
Boxing Scene Columnist Gives Thompson Love, Doesn't Reveal Winner
Thomas Gerbasi of Boxing Scene gives us an insightful read into the career of Tony Thompson, one that the American public unfortunately doesn't know too much about.
While many in the boxing world don't believe Saturday night's fight in Switzerland carries much significance to the American end of the sport with Thompson being an underdog of epic proportions, Gerbasi reminds us not to forget about what he's capable of.
Sure, Thompson may have been defeated by a better fighter in Klitschko last time they faced off, but he also took him to 11 rounds in a fight that pushed the Ukrainian to the brink.
If one thing's for sure, Thompson still has it in him to win his title and return heavyweight boxing to the forefront of the sport in America.
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