Heavyweight veteran Tony Thompson demonstrated at the weekend he is still a genuine force at the highest level as he became the first to beat much-fancied British and Commonwealth title holder David Price, with a stunning second-round KO in Liverpool, England.
A clubbing, thumping right hook, which caught Price flush on the left side of the head, sending him crashing and packing, has breathed new life into the career of the 41-year-old American, a two-time title challenger.
For that devastating shot and resulting victory underlines that, while Thompson may have fallen short six months ago when stopped in the sixth by THE RING’s heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, he most definitely remains a serious opponent for any of the division’s rising stars.
And, having halted Price’s perfect climb up the ladder in such breath-taking fashion, silencing a partisan Echo Arena crowd in the process, the veteran from Washington immediately declared it his intention to do something similar to that other unbeaten British heavyweight contender, Tyson Fury, who faces former cruiserweight titleholder Steve Cunningham on April 20.
“This win leaves me going after that sissy Tyson Fury,” Thompson (37-3, 25 knockouts) told Box Nation. “He’s been talking a lot and making a lot of noise in the press. Well, I took care of David Price like I said I would and now it’s time to take care of him.
“This feels wonderful. I came out and everyone was booing me, they even booed the national anthem. But I told people I was comfortable with that kind of stuff. I knew 6,000 Liverpudlians couldn’t get into the ring and fight with David.
“My team and I worked on running him into the sides. We knew he was going to be aggressive, we knew he was going to try and make a statement off of me, in front of his home town. We just wanted to stay patient, stay smart and wait for this outcome.
“I am never going to have as an impressive body as David Price, but I’ve got an impressive mind.”
There were some consoling words for Price as Thompson stated the Englishman does have the weapons to reach the summit. But he also suggested Price (15-1, 13 KOs) should add a few pounds to a strapping 6-foot-7 frame.
“I would say to David: ‘Keep the head up’. He has everything to be a champion. I’d advise him to gain just a little bit of weight, just to make him that bit sturdier,” said Thompson, who weighed in at a career-high 262 pounds to Price’s 247.
“But I am looking forward to him being a champion…as a fan…because my time is coming to an end, quickly. I want to see guys like David, a gentleman in and out of the ring, a good competitor and a great talent, succeed. Just not on this day!”
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