Ultra-experienced long time heavyweight contender Tony Thompson isn’t quite ready to call it a day and retire yet. Immediately after his October points loss to the much quicker Malik Scott (who had to survive a late-rounds knockdown) “The Tiger” said he would retire. Now, though, in hearing about interim WBA heavyweight champion Luis Ortiz and his struggle finding a challenger for his scheduled March 5th date on HBO’s Boxing After Dark, the 44-year-old says he will step in to face the Cuban who is eight years his junior.
As has previously been reported, Alexander Dimitrenko – thought to have been a done deal to face Ortiz on March 5th – asked for too much money, killing the fight. Thompson confirmed to this writer that he is trying to get the fight for himself now.
“We’re trying to make the fight with Ortiz now,” Thompson informed me via social media. “[David] Haye wouldn’t fight me.”
So, will Ortiz and his people agree to take on the dangerous, savvy former two-time world title challenger? It would be an interesting fight, between two big, hard-hitting southpaws. Thompson may have slowed down a little, as we saw in the fight with Scott, but he remains durable (stopped only by then heavyweight ruler Wladimir Klitschko, twice, in a 40-6 record compiled over 16-years) and he has the height and reach to perhaps be able to trouble Ortiz.
If he has been in training since his loss late last year and has not gotten too out of shape, Thompson might well mount a good challenge. But four weeks isn’t very much time (is it enough time, I asked Thompson: “it’s gonna have to be, lol,” he shot back), and if Thompson has been sitting around doing nothing, it would be a hard job for him to get into top fighting shape for March 5th. But would HBO approve the fight if Ortiz does agree to take it? I think they would, as Thompson is a name and he doesn’t get turned over quickly by any fighter. Ortiz would make a big statement if he managed to do a demolition job on the man from Washington D.C.
Thompson hasn’t fought a fellow lefty in quite some time, yet with all his experience – having been in with everyone from Klitschko, to Kubrat Pulev, to Odlanier Solis, to David Price – it’s unlikely he would be overly troubled by this. If he’s kept himself in reasonable shape and as long as HBO approve the match-up, Ortiz Vs. Thompson has the look of an interesting fight that can be made.