MOSCOW, May 11 (RIA Novosti)
WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko praised his challenger Tony Thompson of the United States on Friday for having the right attitude to their upcoming title fight.
Tuesday’s football-themed press conference in Bern, Switzerland was light-hearted, in stark contrast to the slap in the face Klitschko’s brother Vitali received ahead of his WBC belt defense against Dereck Chisora in February.
“I spent some time with Tony Thompson and I have to tell you, that the man is good, his behavior is great and his attitude is right,” Klitschko said in a video statement on his official Facebook page.
Forty-year old mandatory challenger Thompson is a worthy opponent despite his age, the 36-year-old Ukrainian said.
“Considering the matter of the fact, he is not the youngest challenger in the world, but his experience is incredible. And he is going to face the world champion. He knows it. He is determined to win this fight to get the belts back to the USA as he said it.”
Around 30,000 people are expected to flock to the Stade de Suisse in Bern for the fight July 7, Klitschko mentioned.
Thompson, who has gone five fights unbeaten since losing to Wladimir Klitschko in 2008, said last month that he is in better shape for this fight, in comments on the Klitschko brothers’ official website.
"Last time I had an injury which I suffered in training. In Bern I will complete what I missed out four years ago. I will knock Klitschko out,” he said last month.
Klitschko has a record of 57 wins, 50 by knockout, and 3 defeats. The mandatory defense is his first since flooring Jean-Marc Mormeck in the fourth round in Dusseldorf, Germany in March.
Thompson has 24 knockouts out of his 36 career wins, and has lost twice. In his last fight in May 2011, he beat compatriot Maurice Harris on a technical knockout.
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