Tony Thompson destroys Krasniqi in 5th round TKO!

tony thompson16.07.07 - By Gary Jones: WBO # 4-ranked heavyweight Tony Thompson (30-1, 18 KOs) completely dominated German-based heavyweight Luan Krasniqi (30-3-1, 14 KOs), winning a 5th round TKO in a WBO eliminator match on Saturday night at the Color Line Arena in Hamburg, Germany.

Thompson, 35, now the WBO mandatory heavyweight challenger for the winner of Ruslan Chagaev-Sultan Ibragimov bout, was simply too fast and much too busy for the 36-year old Krasniqi, who had problems handling the massive punch volume that Thompson, a southpaw, was putting out over the course of the five rounds.

Krasniqi, using an odd fight strategy of playing rope-a-dope all fight long, took an enormous amount of punishment, ultimately leading to the referee Mark Nelson putting an end to the one-sided beating in the 5th round.

tony thompsonGoing into the bout, the 6'5" Thompson figured to be a tough task for Krasniqi, due to Thompson's long reach and busy fighting style. Though Thompson isn't considered particularly powerful or fast, he often more than makes up for it by using an accumulation of punches to defeat his adversary. In the first round, Krasniqi took the fight to Thompson almost immediately and landed some powerful combinations which Thompson took without any problems. However, after throwing his shots, Krasniqi retreated to the ropes where he allowed Thompson to land a series of shots while Krasniqi attempted to cover up. If he thought he was going to tire Thompson out with this tactic, he perhaps should have taken a lok at some of his fights, since Thompson, if anything, is a noted for being a tireless puncher.

None of Thompson's punches were thrown particularly hard, as I noted previously, but each of them stinging nonetheless and picking up points with the judges. Krasniqi, after taking a number of shots while on the ropes, would occasionally come out firing and land some nice combinations, thrown very hard. However, just as before, as soon as he landed, Krasniqi would go back to the ropes, and cover up like before.

In the 2nd and 3rd rounds, Krasniqi continued with the rope-a-dope strategy, only now his sporadic counter attacks started to become less effective, to the point where he would only land one out of four punches he'd thrown while temporarily backing up Krasniqi. In turn, Thompson began to land even more shots while Krasniqi was playing Possum on the ropes, and at one point near the end of the 3rd, Thompson dished out severe punishment, landing a storm of punches to the face of Krasniqi, the kind of attack that normally causes a referee to step in and stop the bout.

In the fourth round, the cat and mouse tactic of Krasniqi was getting even less effective, as Thompson was beating him for prolonged periods while Krasniqi was against the ropes. When he would come out and make an attempt to land - increasingly rarer at this point - Krasniqi would plod forward and throw only one punch, missing badly, and then would retreat back to the ropes again to resume taking more shots. As the round neared the end, Thompson opened up even more, turning up his offensive attack a notch, and then beating Krasniqi almost senseless. In between rounds, the referee warned Krasniqi, telling him that he has to defend himself or he'll stop the fight, to which Krasnigi only grunted.

In the fifth round, Thompson resumed pounding away at Krasniqi on the ropes, and little changed, other than the appearance of Krasniqi's face, which had turned to a beet red, with both eyes and one ear showing signs of swelling. Krasnigi made several faint-hearted efforts at attacking Thompson, but each one was feeble and quickly turned back by Thompson, who met them with a stiff resistance from his left hand and right hook combination. Finally, with the round approaching the end, the referee stepped in and halted the bout suddenly without warning. It didn't seem like a such a big deal, as Krasniqi was only getting the same kind of punishment that he'd been served up during the previous four rounds, but the referee wasn't comfortable with the amount of unanswered shots that Krasniqi was taking. The German crowd hated it, and booed like crazy, but Krasniqi had no problems at with the stoppage, perhaps relieved that his ordeal was finally over.

Article posted on 16.07.2007

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