Boxing Snippets

‘The Wolf’ Thompson adds bite to his coming bout

Ask Chris Thompson about fighting Juan Roux at Emperors Palace next Friday and you don’t get the usual platitudes.
“Who’s he fought? Who’s he actually beaten? He’ll come, walk forward, left hand, straight right, left hand, straight right. I know what he’s gonna do. Very flat-footed. Just because he’s heavy doesn’t mean he’s strong. I’m far stronger . . . not worried at all.”
Thompson doesn’t do cheesy PR. He says it as he sees it, and he doesn’t see much from Roux that threatens him.
When it’s pointed out that Roux stopped the Wilhelm Nebe steam train in 2021, Thompson laughs.
“You know why? Because I KO’d Nebe in sparring a week before he fought Roux. The only reason it looked so easy was because I had flattened him with a left hook.”
Thompson can’t wait till fight night. He’s coming off a sequence of losses, the worst of them most recently, when Olympic super-heavyweight champion Bakhodir Jalolov pounded him early in Tashkent, and desperately wants to get back in the win column.
The South African is philosophical about the one-round blowout against the big Uzbek. “I got caught with a good left hand, which was not expected. This is heavyweight boxing. Sometimes all it takes is one punch. It was the first time in my career I got stopped so early.”
Thompson hasn’t boxed in SA since losing his SA heavyweight title to Keaton Gomes in 2022 and he’s looking forward to doing so again. He also wants to re-establish himself as “the main guy” locally.
Although he hasn’t managed to hook up with a fighter as big as Roux, Thompson has enjoyed good sparring with Akani Phuzi and Sean Potgieter, ensuring he comes in in tip-top shape next weekend.
He doesn’t consider his recent poor run as a negative, rationalizing that he likes to test himself and couldn’t turn down the opportunity to fight bigger names on big stages in the UK and Russia. Fear isn’t part of his mindset and when he started out it was with the idea of mixing it with the best. Indeed, he went toe to toe with Russia’s Evgeni Romanov, a former junior world champion, and believes he got rough justice in their bout last year. With three Russian judges, the odds against him winning were long indeed.
“I beat him, no question.”
He doesn’t particularly care how the bookmakers rate him for the Roux bout, figuring that he has the Capetonian’s number regardless.
“It’s only eight rounds, but he’ll gas with my work rate.”

 

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