By Bob Caico
Photo: Rich Graessle/Main Events
Light heavyweight Lionell “Lonnie B” Thompson (14-2, 9 KOs) has his own personal redemption Saturday night, live on NBCSN. Main Events will present “Road To Redemption” featuring Amir Mansour and Kelvin Price in the headline attraction. Thompson takes on Ryan “The Irish Outlaw” Coyne (21-1, 9 KOs) in the 10-round co-feature. Thompson’s last national television exposure was a third-round stoppage at the hands of current champion Sergey Kovalev, a fight he took on two weeks notice.
“I’m a fighter, I took a chance and he beat me fair and square. My last TV appearance didn’t go as planned but trust and believe this fight will,” said the confident fighter from Buffalo, NY.
Coyne has an impressive record but was stopped in his last fight, a fact not lost on Thompson. “He stepped up and he got stopped, I haven’t seen him fight but there is nothing he can show me that I haven’t seen already. I have faced better opposition and have sparred with world class fighters such as Carl Froch, Lucian Bute, Chad Dawson and Troy Ross so he’s never faced anyone like me.”
The 28-year old Thompson began his pro career late after having a stellar amateur career and graduating from college. After starting 12-0 he lost a controversial decision and then was stopped by Kovalev. “I clearly won the fight against Poulard,” he explains. “Even the people from Montreal had me winning 8- 2.”
Two impressive wins this year have regained his momentum and a win in this nationally televised fight would certainly catapult Thompson into bigger and better fights. “I like tough fights to test myself. It was a good learning experience and I would love to someday get a re-match.”