Boxing Snippets

‘The Wolf’ adding bite to the bridgerweight scene

A new promoter, a new weight division, the same in-your-face attitude.
This is the Chris Thompson package following him joining Golden Gloves and opting to fight at bridgerweight after a long run at heavyweight.
Thompson happily agrees that his job is more than simply boxing; he wants to entertain and keep fans coming back for more.
His charisma was evident at Emperors Palace earlier this month when he dismantled Juan Roux over eight rounds. He was proud, cocky and full of mouth – before, during and after the contest.
More importantly, he produced an assured performance that allowed him to display all his talents. He was fit, fast and durable as he boxed smartly against Roux, who brought his A game.
The shift to the lighter division is based on common sense. Although Thompson is a large unit, against the elite of the division he ranks as a smallish heavyweight nearer to 100kg than 120kg – the bridgerweight limit is 101kg, while Thompson’s weight between fights is around 108kg.
The differential was never more evident than in Uzbekistan last year when he boxed local hero Bakhodir Jalolov, a 2,01m beast who weighed 115kg. Thompson’s fists were inadequate – he needed a baseball bat to beat a man that big.
The loss came amid a succession of defeats started by Keaton Gomes in their fight for the SA heavyweight title in 2022. Looking back, Thompson feels he did it all wrong on the night, having rushed to the ring and then knocked out of his rhythm.
It ended badly, a view reinforced some time later when Thomspon sparred with Gomes and felt he had the beating of him.
It might not have been the smartest decision, but he then decided to chase the cash, accepting fights in the UK, Russia and Uzbekistan. He had zero hope of winning a decision in Russia, duly losing on points, and then he took a fight against Solomon Dacres on 10 days’ notice.
He was 0-3 when he trekked to Eastern Europe to fight Jalolov, a former Olympic champion.
“It was a bad fight, I shouldn’t have taken it,” he says with the benefit of hindsight.
The run of losses dented his confidence, but Thompson’s love for the sport prevailed.
Lesser fighters might have walked away, but he doubled down and worked hard under trainer Shannon Strydom.
Roux might not have been the biggest test, but the fight allowed Thompson to measure himself and gave him the reassurance that at the age of 29 he probably has a good five years left of boxing in him.
“I love to fight,” he says with obvious enthusiasm, speaking from his home in Sandton. “I’ll even box in your mother’s kitchen.”
Promoter Rodney Berman has responded to this keen attitude by lining up a bridgerweight fight for Emperors Palace in August.
“He was really good the other night and deserves a chance,” said Berman, marvelling at Thompson’s lack of amateur experience. “I can see him making a real impression at bridgerweight, where his strength will really tell.”
Thompson couldn’t be happier, knowing that this move can extend his career.
“I’m excited to campaign at the new weight, which takes the giant heavyweight out of the equation. It’s something new and exciting. The modern heavyweights are really big, but I’ll be the perfect size for bridgerweight.”
If this signals a reinvention of the fun fighter who has been on the local scene for the past seven years, what won’t change is his outgoing personality.
Thompson loves to talk smack and he loves to whip up the crowd; anything not to be labelled a boring fighter.
You might like him, you might dislike his antics, but you can’t ignore the man they call “The Wolf”.

 

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