Thompson vs Haye: The CAT is back

05.08.04 – Since his fight with David Haye was officially confirmed for September 10 at Wembley Arena, Carl ‘The CAT’ Thompson has been noticeable by his silence. But the reigning IBO cruiserweight champion has not gone AWOL, merely keeping in shape at altitude during a two-week break in the Canary Islands.

“Carl’s been away on holiday, but working while he’s been over there and getting a bit of sun on his back at the same time,” said Fight Academy joint-promoter Dennis Hobson. “He’s not been over there on a jolly. A lot of fighters go over to the Canaries to train at the altitude and he’ll be coming back in very good shape.”

So a fighting fit Thompson will arrive back on British shores on Friday ready to meet the challenge of precocious challenger David Haye head on. According to Hobson, the champion’s veteran status will not count against him.

“Carl won a very dramatic fight against Sebastian Rothmann in February and showed that age is not factor,” said Hobson. “He has had crises in fights before and he’s often pulled it out of nowhere. Remember, he’s the only person to have stopped Chris Eubank and he’s a three-time world champion. His pedigree speaks for itself.

“He may just be 40 and Carl can get a bit touchy when that is talked about, but look at someone like Bernard Hopkins – who is possibly the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world – and you see that age doesn’t matter. It’s what’s in the genes and still left in the engine that counts. Carl’s still got plenty of mileage left in him.

“From a promoter’s point of view it’s a great fight. A genuine 50-50 contest and I think that shows what our intentions are at Fight Academy. It’s just the latest in a succession of big fights we’ve been involved in and there’ll be more to come.”

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