By James Slater: It has been reported by Ringtv.com that 40-year-old Tony Thompson is now the IBF mandatory challenger for Wladimir Klitschko, who holds the Ring Magazine, WBA, WBO and IBO belts along with his IBF title. Thompson was made such due to the way his final eliminator with “Fast” Eddie Chambers, originally set for October, fell apart again when rearranged for December 17th.
It was thought Chambers, who injured his back in sparring, would be able to make the new date, but this is not the case.
“They had been rescheduled to fight on December 17th, but we found out yesterday that Eddie Chambers was not going to be able to participate,” IBF President Darryl Peoples told Ringtv.com.
So, without having had to fight again since his May 2011 victory over Maurice Harris (a 3rd-round TKO win for “The Tiger”), Thompson, 36-2(24) is in line for a rematch with the Champion who stopped him in the 11th-round back in July of 2008. Since that loss, Thompson has reeled off five straight wins, all of them coming by TKO. As deserving as any other U.S heavyweight you care to mention, Thompson’s main problem may be getting the fans interested in a return between he and “Dr. Steel Hammer.”
The younger of the two Klitschkos looks unbeatable right now, and after he’s dealt with former cruiserweight ruler Jean Marc Mormeck on Dec. 10th (a fight most, if not all, see as a terribly easy night’s work for Wladimir), fans may find it hard to pay out to see him in there with a guy he has already KO’d.
But will Wladimir look Thompson’s way next? His IBF belt and the mandatory obligation aside, Klitschko has spoken of wanting to face exciting Mexican/American Chris Arreola in his first fight of 2012. That fight would likely prove easier to sell than Klitschko-Thompson II. Maybe “The Tiger,” a guy who has paid his dues, will get his shot at Wladimir after the Arreola fight – unless of course “The Nightmare” scores a big upset next spring!
As for the gifted and talented Chambers, it is unclear where his immediate career is going. Still young at age 29, it is hoped the Philly slickster’s back problem will not keep him out for too long. Winner of one fight since his own late-rounds KO loss at the hands of Wladimir, Chambers will hopefully come again strong in 2012.