By Karl Freitag
The paths of IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko and challenger Tony Thompson have crossed many times over the years. They meet again tonight at the Stade de Suisse in Bern, Switzerland. “He has been here at training camp in (Austria) and he was a sparring partner for Vitali’s fight against Juan Carlos Gomez,” says Wladimir. “He was my sparring partner in the fight that was a long time ago, 2003, in my fight with Corrie Sanders. And I’ve fought Tony Thompson.”
Wlad wants to make it very clear that he’s not “recycling” opponents as has been alleged. “I didn’t choose Tony Thompson to fight. I’m forced to fight Tony Thompson because he’s, for all the respect that I want to give him, he has been fighting his way back to the top to become number one challenger in position number one at the IBF. And so I have to defend my IBF title and fight him.
“I’m expecting from Tony Thompson to be as aggressive as possible, because that’s his last chance for sure to fight for a championship. And I think Tony Thompson knows it pretty well. I think he knows it better than anyone else!”