Tony "The Tiger" Thompson To Face Friday Ahunanya On Ward-Green Card?

by James Slater - The next instalment of the super-middleweight "Super Six" tournament takes place on the 19th of this month, as the unbeaten Andre Ward, the reigning WBA 168-pound champ, squares off with the once-beaten Allan Green in Oakland, CA. And, as intriguing as this next step in the exciting tournament is, the card looks like having a pretty good under-card.

According to, the career of their highest ranked U.S heavyweight will take its next step, as 38-year-old southpaw Tony Thompson, known as "The Tiger," will face Friday "The 13th" Ahunanya over a scheduled ten-rounds.. Along with this fight, is a scheduled bout between former light-welterweight titlist Kendall Holt and the always-game Jesse Feliciano.

Both support fights could well be fan-friendly, as well as evenly-matched affairs, and the heavyweight bout especially should attract some attention.

Thompson, 34-2(22) is coming off his recent stoppage of Owen Beck, and the 6-5" Washington DC native is 3-0(3) since his July 2008 11th-round stoppage loss to Ring magazine, IBF and WBO heavyweight king Wladimir Klitschko. Against the durable Ahunanya, also aged 38, Thompson will be going up against a fighter who has just taken the powerhouse that is David Tua the full 12-rounds. As such, it sure would be a decent statement if "The Tiger" could bear his claws and get himself a stoppage win.

Okay, Ahunanya, the owner of the superb "Friday the 13th" nickname, was on the whole passive and in survival mode only against Tua back in March, and this is the real reason he lasted the distance in New Zealand. However, on his day, when he IS prepared to fight hard, the 24-6-3(13) Nigerian warrior can be dangerous and a good puncher. How June 19th's bout goes may well depend as much upon which version of Ahunanya shows up as it does on which version of his opponent climbs through the ropes.

With America desperately searching for the most likely fighter to be able to bring at least a slice of the heavyweight title back home, Thompson, despite his loss to "Dr. Steel Hammer," is probably the best hope out there. Sure, the former title challenger admittedly let himself down against Klistchko, but Thompson blamed the loss, at least partially, on a leg injury, and he says he can come again and win the title. With no other obvious choice for a heavyweight hope in the once all-conquering U.S, fans may be willing to take Thompson at his word.

Staying busy and turning up in good shape in each of his post-Klitschko fights, Thompson is at least taking on reasonable opposition. At a solid-looking 250-pounds and with his undeniable skills, Thompson will be on a roll if he can score the fourth stoppage in a row in his recent winning streak. No, Adnan Serin (TKO'd in 5), Chazz Witherspoon (TKO'd in 9) and Beck (TKO'd in 4) are no world beaters, but they are not bad fighters, especially as comeback opposition.

If Thompson can get either a TKO or an outright KO where Tua failed against Ahunanya, his stock will go up in the opinion of a good many fans. On the other hand, a dreary points win will turn off fans. This fight could conceivably wind up taking either form.

I do feel Thompson will win whatever the case, but it is to be hoped he will be gunning for that knockout; the 23-rd of his pro career.

Article posted on 01.06.2010

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