Direct From Tony Thompson’s Training Camp Ahead Of The Klitshko Rematch: “The Tiger” Ready To Roar!

boxingBy James Slater - Houston’s heavyweight hope Skipp “Strictly Business” Scott has been working hard with heavyweight contender Tony Thompson in Washington D.C. Ahead of “The Tiger’s” July 7th rematch with world heavyweight king Wladimir Klitschko, Skipp, all 6’8” and approx 250-pounds of him, was brought in to emulate the mighty “Dr. Steel Hammer” in sparring.

Currently 15-1(10) in his own pro career, Scott reports that 40-year-old southpaw Thompson is looking great in camp. Skipp is also of the (admittedly biased) opinion that Thompson might just be able to pull off the win in the rematch set for a sold-out crowd in Switzerland.

Kindly granting me an over the phone interview directly from Thompson’s camp this past weekend (June 9th), Skipp, always a pleasure to speak with, had the following things to say:

James Slater: Thanks so much for taking the time to speak with me, Skipp! You’re in Tony Thompson’s camp right now, correct?

Skipp Scott: Yes, I’m here right now in Washington D.C. I’ve been here a week now. I’m about to finish up, and Tony will do a couple more weeks overseas, in Germany or Sweden.

J.S: You’ve done some good sparring?

S.S: Oh yeah. We’ve done lots of good work, me and the other guys Tony has brought in to spar with. I’ve been doing between four and six rounds with Tony, three or four days a week. We’re all doing our best to test him, to make it a hot pace for him. I’ve been throwing a lot of big right hands, which is what Wladimir will be doing on July 7th. We’ve made the sparring as tough as can be for Tony, with a lot of hi-energy. But Tony is looking great. He’s in terrific shape and he’s ready to fight.

J.S: And who are the other guys Thompson’s brought in to spar?

S.S: An excellent heavyweight named Malik Scott, who is 33-0 as a pro and who has an awesome amateur pedigree. Deontay Wilder was also here earlier, and a few other guys, like Maurice Byarm.

J.S: Talking about you, Skipp: I know you just fought on May 24th, a 1st-round KO win for you - but when do you plan to fight again?

S.S: We’re trying to work on a fight for late July or early August. It’s possible I may fight Arron Lyons, who is the only guy to have beaten me; actually in my first pro fight. And we’re also looking at Jameel McCline, who is fighting again. We want to take a step up this year, with some eight and ten-round fights. I want to take a step up.

J.S: A fight with McCline would be very interesting. He’s almost as big as you and he has all that experience.

S.S: Yes, I have nothing but respect for Jameel. He’s a great fighter. But at my age, I have to take these type of fights and win them. If he wants to fight me and we can work it out it will be great.

J.S: Will you be going to the Klitschko-Thompson fight or just watching on T.V?

S.S: I’d love to be there, of course, but I’ll watch on T.V. It’s a very interesting fight, and Thompson was the last guy to even touch Wladimir, back in their first fight.

J.S: And you’re in camp with trainer Barry Hunter, who trains Thompson?

S.S: Yes. I must say, they’ve taken me in and they’ve treated me as one of their own fighters. They’ve really taken good care of me; whenever I’ve needed anything.

J.S: A fight with Wladimir is obviously your ultimate dream fight, but can Thompson beat him - and would you fight Thompson if the fight were offered to you?

S.S: We all want to fight Wladimir and claim that top spot! But I have to give Tony a great chance. I’m biased, of course (laughs) but he has that long reach and if he can back Wladimir into the ropes, and if he can avoid those right hands and if he can make it an inside fight at times, which Wladimir doesn’t like, I think Tony has a great chance. Wladimir doesn’t have that great a chin. This fight could go either way. If a fight with Thompson, or any belt-holder, or a fight that would make me the #1 contender was offered to me, of course I’d have to take it. I’d have to do it. It wouldn’t be good business not to [laughs].

J.S: If you could choose your next fight who would you prefer, McCline or Lyons? Is it the revenge you want, over Lyons?

S.S: I would never use revenge as my motivation. If you go into a fight angry or looking at revenge, you might go off your game-plan. I don’t need Lyons on my way to becoming champion. But as far as my legacy goes, my all-time favourite fighter is Lennox Lewis, and I like the way he beat everyone he ever faced. If he lost a fight, he’d get them in the return. And of course that’s part of it. But I’ll fight either guy next. Kerry Daigle has a game-plan for me and he’ll make the fights.

J.S: Thanks so much for talking to me, Skipp - and for giving us the inside scoop on the Thompson camp!

S.S: Okay, thanks for the interview - I enjoyed it.

Article posted on 11.06.2012

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