A Confident Tiger leaves for Germany


A Confident Tiger leaves for Germany

PRESS RELEASE:  A few days after celebrating the 231st anniversary of America’s independence from British rule, heavyweight contender Tony “The Tiger” Thompson will arrive in Germany on Saturday to make final preparations for his highly-anticipated July 14, 2007 showdown with fellow contender Luan Krasniqi.

The scheduled twelve-round contest -- to be held at the Color Line Arena in Hamburg, Germany – will be a WBO heavyweight eliminator.  At stake is a mandatory shot at the title belt currently worn by Sultan Ibragimov.


July 14 cannot come soon enough for the 35-year old Thompson (29-1, 17 KOs), a native of Washington, D.C.  Previous attempts for the rangy 6-5 southpaw to get #3-ranked Krasniqi (30-2-1, 14 KOs) into the ring with him proved futile. “It’s been kind of frustrating,” Thompson admitted.  “But now that I’ve got the opportunity I’m going to go in and kick his ass and bring it to his After-Party!”

In addition to a tough customer in Krasniqi, Thompson faces the obstacle of trying to defeat him in Germany.  “I have a great team behind me,” he credited.  “We have done everything to prepare for this trip.  I know a lot of people are worried about me getting a fair decision over there.   But I’m confident I’m going to win the Germans over; not just the fans, but the judges too.  But it’s hard to get robbed if the guy’s laid out on his back.”

When asked about his opponent’s fighting style and the challenges it could cause him, Thompson responded:  “I don’t really concentrate on anybody’s style but my own.  And I’m always confident that we are prepared to the best of our abilities.  As for me, just the regular same old thing that I do:  being incredibly awkward, offensively and defensively, to the point of frustration.  And once he’s frustrated I’m going to take him out of there.”  

Thompson’s management team consisting of, among others, co-managers Nate Peake and NBA star Steve Francis, share Thompson’s confidence.  They kept Thompson in training facilities an hour away from his home to help eliminate the distractions and focus on the task at hand.  

“This is THE elimination,” Peake stressed, revealing the possibility that with a victory over Krasniqi, Thompson could potentially double his pleasure in his subsequent mandatory championship bout.

“I’m looking for Tony to dominate and show the world that he is the best heavyweight in the world.  Once Tony wins this fight he’s the mandatory,” Peake continued.  “And with Ibragamov fighting (WBA Champion, Ruslan) Chagaev to unify both titles, Tony will get to fight the winner for both world heavyweight titles.  They fight in October and the beauty of it is that instead of fighting for one belt, Tony could wind up fighting for two.”

Adding his experience as a professional athlete in the management of Thompson’s career, the man known as “Stevie Franchise” in NBA circles, Francis has been involved with Thompson for nearly four years and sees a win over Krasniqi and the potential for Thompson’s goal to become heavyweight champion of the world. 

“For me it’s been like a whirlwind to be able to work with Tony because basketball and boxing are two completely different sports, but at the same time, they’re both contact and ultra competitive sports,” Francis explained. 

“To be able to help somebody that has a great opportunity to get on the next level where a Holyfield, Tyson and Riddick Bowe were… to me there was no other choice but to be with someone like Tony who has the talent and heart to withstand all that’s going on inside the ring.  All I can say is it is what it is.  Tony’s true talents will show in this boxing match in Germany.”

Dan Goossen, President of Goossen Tutor Promotions, has been Thompson’s promoter for his last five fights and is very high on Thompson’s chances to defeat Krasniqi.

"I've got tremendous confidence in Tony coming back to America with a hard-fought victory,” Goossen asserted.  “He's on a mission to establish himself right at the top with the other heavyweight champions.  A victory here places him right there."

“All I’ll tell you about a prediction is that I am 25-0 since my only loss (a decision loss to Eric Kirkland seven years ago in Massachusetts) and I don’t plan on breaking that streak ever,” Thompson declared.   “My record speaks for itself and I will never quit in a fight like he (Krasniqi) has.  After the only time I lost I came back to prove all my doubters, who waited for me to fold in this sport, wrong.  

“This fight is everything.  From when I started I could only imagine being in this position.  Thanks to my co-managers Nate Peake and ‘Stevie Franchise’ and the other guys who’ve helped me.  My trainers, Tom Browner and Barry Hunter, put me in a position to succeed and I want to succeed for those guys who believed in me, and my family who’s been patient enough and waited for me to bring home the bacon.  And now is the time,” Thompson concluded.