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Q & A with Newark’s rising Light Middleweight prospect John Thompson

By Lou McLaughlin: Today I had the opportunity to conduct an interview with Newark’s light middleweight prospect John “Apollo Kidd “Thompson IV. John who fights out of the Elite Heat Boxing Gym, Newark NJ is managed by Bill Mielnicki. Renowned ex-champion and now trainer Buddy McGirt is currently training Thompson with John’s Father John Thompson III as co-trainer. John carries himself and speaks as someone far mature then his 23 years. He is a young man who is introspective enough to consider the “Big Picture” of life. As to how what he does in his youth and how it will affect his future.

One would hope that his boxing career will continue with success because as the spotlight shines brighter on him it will give younger people an inspiration to see how he has chosen to lead his life. Besides being an up and coming professional boxer, John holds a fulltime job with United Airlines. As an airline employee John has flight privileges allowing him to see the world. He has parlayed his success and recognition as a professional boxer into an entrance into the world of acting and modeling. He maintains a close relationship with his father John Thompson III his co-trainer. Additionally, he dabbles as an artist. A young man with varied wide interests hoping to be a positive role model.

Q-You turned pro June 22, 2011. You had three fights in last half of 2011. This October 27 fight is your 7th in 2012. You’ve moved up to 6 round bouts. Are you going to continue fighting this frequently?
A- YES!

Q- Some questions concerning your opponent Chris Chatman a southpaw. What changes do you make in training and in overall strategy in fighting a southpaw?
A-Most of the changes would be with changing side to side movement for a southpaw. But basically it is the same thing you have to throw punches. We’ve been working on boxing hit and not be hit. The only thing that changes is that his left hand is back and his right is forward. A lot of boxers can only move one way but I can move both ways. I can pretty much dance all around the ring.

Q-You’re tall for a fighter who fights at just a bit below 160 lbs. as a light middleweight. You think that you’ll stay at this weight much longer or will the prime John Thompson manifest at a higher weight class?
A-My natural weight is 154 lbs. I would like to stay there for a few years see how it goes. I would pretty much like to stay between 147 and 160 and take over all of that. I’d like to go for all of that

Q-I’ve attended three of your fights and from the 1st one I saw in Nutley I thought you had the fundamental tools to develop into a great pro as your body and skills mature. In Your opinion what has been John Thompson’s best performance and what was your least satisfying win
A-I would have to say Nutley High School when I fought Laureano Laracuente. The guy I boxed was more of a boxer. I didn’t have to be too careful I just went in there and boxed him. (Laracuente was unable to come out for the fourth round). My least satisfying win was my last fight at Prudential Arena in Newark against John Mackey. I didn’t like a lot of things about it. I should have popped my jab more. A lot of things I did wrong that we’ve been working on.

Q- Is the Prudential arena the largest venue you’ve ever fought in? Your thoughts on that?
A-Yes it is the biggest venue I fought in. No it is not the reason for my unsatisfactory performance. The size of the crowd does not matter. The ring is the same size and only two people matter myself and my opponent

\Q- I was told that before coming to the Elite boxing gym to train that you do roadwork in the morning and hold a full time job with United Airlines after training. What else can you tell me about how a professional athlete who also has access to the whole world by virtue of being an airline employee enjoys his life?
A-Besides boxing I paint. I’m an artist I do murals. I’m wanting to open up my own business as far as the art practice. I dance professionally as well, I model, and I act. I was in the movie “Sex in the City II”

Q- You’re becoming a bit of an area celebrity. How has it affected you and your life and image that you project?
For the most part I’ve been doing a lot of commercial things. But I am finding that people just want to be around me so they can make themselves look good and try to use me for my fame

Q- Anything you want to say out to your family, friends, or fans?
A- Yes, From my experience if you want something go out there and get it. Don’t wait for it to come to you.