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THE LOTIERZO LOWDOWN Thompson's Lack Of Physicality Is What Doomed Him Against Klitschko

BY Frank Lotierzo ON July 09, 2012
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HB7QjErz Pxgen r Ax354This past weekend multiple heavyweight title belt holder Wladimir Klitschko 58-3 (51) won his 19th title bout with a 6th round TKO over contender Tony Thompson 36-3 (24). Klitschko, who holds the WBA/WBO/IBF and IBO titles, was never in trouble once or even needed a deep breath in the process of finishing Thompson.

Soon the cookbook analysts will be flooding the boxing media with breakdowns and theories as to what Thompson should've done in order to nullify and perhaps better Klitschko. They'll talk about angles and pivots as if they really applied to Thompson in his losing bid versus Klitschko. Hopefully, they'll stay away from questioning his heart and effort because that cannot be questioned, no, not in this fight. Maybe in their first meeting back in 2008 that might be the case, but not so this past weekend.

Here's what we know for certain about Wladimir Klitschko. He starts very slow and is also very shaky early, as well as being stiff.It also takes him a few rounds to judge distance well. He tries hard to project confidence but as we know it's more of a front until he feels that he is the more commanding presence in the ring as the fight moves along. Ideally, the way to go after him is hard and with bad intentions from the onset. Stress that you're trying to take his head off and he'll leave you alone and try to draw you out while he's waiting for the perfect right cross to cut loose with. If you can't outbox him, which nobody around today can, you must accept the fact that in order to beat him you have to risk being stopped yourself, something he must be shown from actions, not words.

Did Tony Thompson attempt to do that this past Saturday night? Of course not. But he did try to throw straight shots at Klitschko and try to send the message that Wladimir couldn't just walk him down at will. He even let go with some finishing left crosses to impress upon Wladimir that the right jabs weren't just a gimmick to keep him away. But therein lied the problem, regardless of what Bruce Beck, Dan Rafael and Freddie Roach said before the fight. Thompson isn't very physically strong or much of a puncher for a heavyweight his size. If you don't buy that, then check out Wladimir's demeanor and reactions when Thompson tried to impose himself. Don't look too hard because there was nothing to see.

The fact is Wladimir had total disdain for Thompson's power. It was as if Klitschko was almost willing to say, I'll drop my hands and give you a free shot with your Sunday punch. It was obvious that the deciding factor in the fight was the fact that Thompson had nothing in his physical arsenal in the form of a usable weapon to bother or make Wladimir do anything that he didn't want to. That's what made the fight an impossible task for Thompson. Klitschko's the type of fighter that if you can't hurt or worry him with something that you present, you can't beat him. And that was the unenviable task that Thompson was confronted with. There was no strategy or adjustment he could make. The bottom line was he was incapable of executing anything from a physical vantage point to make Klitschko have to react or adjust to it.

Most would say that if you can match Wladimir in height and reach and can box a little bit, you might have a shot. However, that didn't apply to Thompson. Instead of working on angles and pivots, Thompson should've taken part in an exhaustive physical and conditioning program. Granted, that wouldn't have insured victory because Klitschko is simply the greater fighter. However, if Thompson could've muscled Wladimir a little and roughed him up along with possessing a punch that even had a prayer to unnerve Wlad, he would've been more competitive.

Don't admonish Tony Thompson's effort because he tried his best. It's just that a Volkswagen can't handle a Mack truck in a collision. Thompson could never be good enough to avoid the collision, so his first priority should've been addressing what he could do in order to deal with the collision better. Perhaps he did, but if that's the case, he fared worse this time against Klitschko than he did during their first fight four years ago. So I doubt he worked on strength and conditioning more this time out.

He said before the bout how he was going to push the fight and take it to Klitschko. That was the correct strategy and mindset. But at the end of the day he didn't posses a single weapon to combat Wladimir with and out boxing him wasn't an option due to the strength disadvantage he was at.

Now the Klitschko train moves on and awaits the next no hope. There's no doubt about the fact that Wladimir Klitschko has a hold and occupies the top spot in the heavyweight division more so than any other fighter or belt holder in any other division. Part of that is because the heavyweight division of today is so pedestrian and the rest of it is -- Wladimir is a very formidable and physical presence in it.

The bottom line is -- there's nobody around to test him, something that hurts the fans and his own chance to enhance his legacy.


Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at GlovedFist@Gmail.com

Comment on this article

deepwater says:

This fight was doomed from the start and should not even be reported on. klitchos get no respect because lamon brewster beat the crap outta baby brother and they found 40 year old corry sanders on a freakin golf course and he starched baby brother. vitali is a bit better and his claim to greatness is getting cut and losing to lennox lewis. the bottom line is regardless of being lack of heavyweights today, that the guys from the 90's woulda murdered these bums. riddick bowe, iabuchi,even prime golata, tyson,lewis,in shape toney that fought holyfield, ect ect. dont even mention the guys from the 80's. the bottom line is these guys cant hold any of those guys jock straps.

Grimm says:

A debate on The K's vs any of the all-time greats will always end up with The K's being dismissed due to a lack of competition - and yet, they do what they can do, and that's beating everybody in a dominating manner. Nevermind the losses - everyone lose, sometimes to unexpected fighters with less skill but more will, and it just add some spice to see a fighter bounce back with determination and discipline.

deepwater says:

40 year old corrie sanders got off the golf course to knock clitco out. thats all that needs to be said about baby bro. vitali is best known for the cut he got during his loss to lewis. how does that rank among louis? marciano? bowe,tyson,ruddock, ect

Radam G says:

WRONG, Grimm! Everyone DOES NOT LOSE! Have you ever heard of a heavyweight name Rocky Marciano? That's what I thought! The little cat was a superbad muthapugilist, who could IMHO spank arse in any era. And it is my opinion that he is much, much better than the K-bros/docs.

Though, I agree with you 100 percent that they dominant in an era of bums, chumps, tomato cans, graveyard-dwellers, etc., etc. And, of course, it ain't the fault of the K-bros/docs.

They are just some bad mofus in their division in their time. And that is all one as large as they can do. I'm sure that if it were possible, they'd pull a Superbad Chad Dawson and go down a division for the king of that division. Oh, YUP! The K-bros/docs could whup 99 percent of those sorry-arse cruiserweights. Holla!

Grimm says:

WRONG, Grimm! Everyone DOES NOT LOSE! Have you ever heard of a heavyweight name Rocky Marciano? That's what I thought! The little cat was a superbad muthapugilist, who could IMHO spank arse in any era. And it is my opinion that he is much, much better than the K-bros/docs.

Though, I agree with you 100 percent that they dominant in an era of bums, chumps, tomato cans, graveyard-dwellers, etc., etc. And, of course, it ain't the fault of the K-bros/docs.

They are just some bad mofus in their division in their time. And that is all one as large as they can do. I'm sure that if it were possible, they'd pull a Superbad Chad Dawson and go down a division for the king of that division. Oh, YUP! The K-bros/docs could whup 99 percent of those sorry-arse cruiserweights. Holla!


Guess what? Youre right - I have heard about The Badass from Brockton. But - there's always an exception, and the rule is: if you take on all comers, and hang around for a long enough period of time, eventually you will lose. Nothing wrong with that. Losses are what give us epic fights: the rivalries, the trilogies, the grudge fights with pride at stake.

amayseng says:

i dont hate the K brothers but they get no respect from me, fighting a 40 year old thompson is not impressive...

wlad was starched out a few times and big brother Vit is a steroid user, caught and admitted...

marciano was a beast

deepwater says:

would any of the greats get knocked out by 40 year old golfer corrie sanders or a wore torn brewster? thats all you need to ask. tommy morrison or ray mercer woulda decapitated these 2

Radam G says:

Hehehehehe! Hahahahaha! Holla!

vjoe says:

I think you all are being a little hard on Corrie Sanders. He was 37 when he scored his knockout of the K-bro and a very heavy handed puncher. Unfortunately, he didn't always get himself in the best shape, but he was a lot of fun to follow, had a great knockout ratio, and was live bet against anybody you put in the ring with him.

deepwater says:

I think you all are being a little hard on Corrie Sanders. He was 37 when he scored his knockout of the K-bro and a very heavy handed puncher. Unfortunately, he didn't always get himself in the best shape, but he was a lot of fun to follow, had a great knockout ratio, and was live bet against anybody you put in the ring with him.


Hey your right. Corrie deserves a little more respect. He is a great golfer

Radam G says:

Wow! There goes the controversy of pugilists' true ages again. Okay! Da muthasucka was officially close to 38 years old. He was probably in his moms's womb for in the neighborhood of nine months. So add that all together, and you are touching 40 years old of humanism. Besides, dude was a senior citizen for boxing and Doc W.K. was a boxing youth. Holla!

mortcola says:

Whole lotta woulda, coulda. Lotta exaggerated hatin', deep. When I watch these two brothers, who are VERY different fighters, technically, I see that both of them adjust and judge distance and timing better than almost any heavy I've seen, and end up dominating their opponents, no matter what style, more decisively than any champ of any era. NOw, as for Sanders, Brewster, and Wlad, I interpret what happened very differently. Not the first time a physically dominant, relatively green fighter gets overwhelmed and starched by something he wasn't ready for. In Sanders' case, I remember him from BEFORE that fight as a lightning fast, heavy handed aggressive southpaw who blew guys away when he got in shape. Wlad was beaten as much in that fight, the Puritty and the Brewster fights, by anxiety and exhaustion as by the punches. So, what did he do? He re-grouped, re-tooled his whole style, and came back. Got up after being scared and bludgeoned by bad Sam Peter and finished strong, and earned his balls back. I don't think the Sanders of that earlier fight would get close to the Wlad of today, who has changed from being an aggressive, chin up front-runner to a master of time and distance, an economical sharpshooter who makes constant small adjustments to neutralize whatever his opponent tries. Watch his feet....watch his angles and feints. He is boring because be zeroes out what the other guy does before the other guy can deliver the punch. And, in every rematch, he has done decisively better. I think he skewers most of the good heavies of the last 25 years. Can he be beaten? SOmeone out there might give him a flashback of horrors by forcing the issue, since somewhere in there is still a guy who can be intimidated out of his control game...but there's no evidence in the last nine years...not a moment of any of his fights. No one has even buzzed him since he got his s--t together, and he's taken some on the chin.

mortcola says:

As for Vitali, the guy was fairly green when he fought Lewis, and we know how well he did then. Since then, he has controlled practically every minute of every round he has fought. You can say how badly they would have been beaten in other eras, but there's no evidence - there is evidence that Vitali, being the more unorthodox fighter, with an iron chin, high punch output, calm consistency, good power delivered intelligently and statistically one of the best defenses in the history of the division, plus his size and physical dominance, and you have a fighter who may have simply dominated in any era of the sport. I have said it over the years - first, character is determined by overcoming adversity, which each man did on the way to completely locking down the division; second, as others have said, it is not their fault their division is weak (or maybe they just make them look weaker than they are); and, no champ has ever dominated a division the way the Klitschkos have dominated their own. Maybe you take away Vitali's bad joints and Wlad's anxiety, and you have ATG fighters who just don't entertain you. I have evidence and solid technical analysis to back up my view (which is shared by increasingly many fight scholars); you have exaggerated trash talk that goes against the facts. You're usually realistic and knowledgeable, Deep - I think you're way off on the Ks.

Coxs Corner says:

Frank is right about Tony not having the physical tools to deal with Wlad. But as was stated the heavyweight division is very pedestrian (and has been for the last decade). I agree with Deepwatwer pretty much on this one.

deepwater says:

I am hard on the klitchos I admit. They have improved and they both have nice jabs but they still don't have the it factor. Their styles are too robotic most times and even though they got a nice jab they stay hiding out behind it too much . Sam Peter was a decent test but he didn't have any skill and looked like he was 5 9 . The brothers use their size well but still don't make exciting fights. Look at some you tube if you got the time and look at teofelio Stevenson . He fought in a stand up style heavy on the jab and look at what he did with his right hand. He knocked everyone out with a beautiful boxing style . He was 6 5 and was a joy to watch and he was crushing people in amateur boxing . I would rather watch tefilio Stevenson and Felix savon in the Olympics on YouTube . Test it out

mortcola says:

Grew up on those fighters, Deep. Arguello, Hagler, Duran, Leonard, Hearns, Don Curry, Holmes. I watched all the big amateur sagas. Those were my heroes and I emulated them in the gym. And there are reasons besides racism why eastern european fighters haven't been popular in the US. Has something to do with not much adrenalin in watching them fight. I get it. But I respect effectiveness and consistency. And their's is so thorough that it is a different kind of pleasure to watch.

counterpuncher says:

Deepwater, I have to commend you. I have been reading your comments on Frank Lo's articles and its amazing how you get it wrong all the time. This right after Frank writes something intelligent, you consistently comment with something unintelligent. I'm glad you aren't named deep thinker, cause it would be fraud. What Frank is trying to tell you, is that the Klitschko brothers would have been formidable opponents in any era. simply any fighter who is that tall, that athletic, and who can jab, and carry KO power is a handful for anyone can they be beat? have they been beat. yes But do we denigrate Lennox Lewis because he got starched by the dreaded Oliver McCall? Oliver Mc Call should have been named Del Monte, since we was a tomato can. lest we forget that the equally benign Shannon Briggs came within an eye lash of doing the same thing to him. no, they all have rough nights. Larry Holmes almost got knocked out by Earnie shavers when shavers was older than dirt. it's all about body of work, and pure ability. you might want to listen more to what Frank writes and talk and write a little less. remember God gave you 2 ears and 1 mouth for a reason.

deepwater says:

Grew up on those fighters, Deep. Arguello, Hagler, Duran, Leonard, Hearns, Don Curry, Holmes. I watched all the big amateur sagas. Those were my heroes and I emulated them in the gym. And there are reasons besides racism why eastern european fighters haven't been popular in the US. Has something to do with not much adrenalin in watching them fight. I get it. But I respect effectiveness and consistency. And their's is so thorough that it is a different kind of pleasure to watch.


I understand your point, I would be more behind them if they at least got rid of the guys in front of them in a better fashion. It's gonna suck for them because they will retire without any tough nemisis on there resume

Radam G says:

The K-bros/docs are no doubt the victims of a sorry era of heavies. And I think that is because of the making of the pseudodivisions of super middleweight and cruiserweight. And, of course, fighters in every weight making that BIG MOOLA nowadays.

If PAY were like it was before the big-money rush of the 1980s in every weight division, the middleweight through the light heavyweight would be invading the heavyweight division to get that BIG PAY. And then, the K-bros/docs would have had whup-a$$ers in the heavyweight division.

Just imagine that Andre "SOG" Ward, "SuperBad" Chad Dawson, B-Hop, Joe Calzaghe, etc., etc. would have been campaigning as heavyweights if there were no money in their divisions. It is my humble opinion that they would have tore the K-bros/docs da double fudge UP!

Not in 100 years of boxing, until the coming of the pseudodivision creations, have men over 6-foot-5, 235lbs to 240lbs donated the heavyweight division. Look can go back and look at the long list of giants getting their arse thrashed. The K-bros/docs are great because they have benefitted from the narrowing of heavies because of added weight division and moola for the smaller fighters. Holla!

deepwater says:

Deepwater, I have to commend you. I have been reading your comments on Frank Lo's articles and its amazing how you get it wrong all the time. This right after Frank writes something intelligent, you consistently comment with something unintelligent. I'm glad you aren't named deep thinker, cause it would be fraud. What Frank is trying to tell you, is that the Klitschko brothers would have been formidable opponents in any era. simply any fighter who is that tall, that athletic, and who can jab, and carry KO power is a handful for anyone can they be beat? have they been beat. yes But do we denigrate Lennox Lewis because he got starched by the dreaded Oliver McCall? Oliver Mc Call should have been named Del Monte, since we was a tomato can. lest we forget that the equally benign Shannon Briggs came within an eye lash of doing the same thing to him. no, they all have rough nights. Larry Holmes almost got knocked out by Earnie shavers when shavers was older than dirt. it's all about body of work, and pure ability. you might want to listen more to what Frank writes and talk and write a little less. remember God gave you 2 ears and 1 mouth for a reason.


Lol your insult is sad. Is this the writers girlfriend and did you sign up just to post this? Good for you . Everyone is entitled to an opinion

deepwater says:

Deepwater, I have to commend you. I have been reading your comments on Frank Lo's articles and its amazing how you get it wrong all the time. This right after Frank writes something intelligent, you consistently comment with something unintelligent. I'm glad you aren't named deep thinker, cause it would be fraud. What Frank is trying to tell you, is that the Klitschko brothers would have been formidable opponents in any era. simply any fighter who is that tall, that athletic, and who can jab, and carry KO power is a handful for anyone can they be beat? have they been beat. yes But do we denigrate Lennox Lewis because he got starched by the dreaded Oliver McCall? Oliver Mc Call should have been named Del Monte, since we was a tomato can. lest we forget that the equally benign Shannon Briggs came within an eye lash of doing the same thing to him. no, they all have rough nights. Larry Holmes almost got knocked out by Earnie shavers when shavers was older than dirt. it's all about body of work, and pure ability. you might want to listen more to what Frank writes and talk and write a little less. remember God gave you 2 ears and 1 mouth for a reason.


now that I have a break from work let me take a closer look at what you wrote. klits would of been formidable opponants in any era, opponents not champions.So I agree with that.everyone does have off nights but the bottom line is lewis handled briggs and got his revenge in spectacular fashion against rock and mccall just cried and had a break down or he woulda went out on his back. earnie shavers is one of the most feared puncher in the history of the game so holmes almost getting knocked out but not getting knocked out is good for holmes. as far as the writer saying lack of whatever is what doomed thompson is correct along with a bunch of other things that gave thompson no chance and he was doomed as soon as the contract was made. the klits have some good things going for them but their styles bore me and other people. I rather watch haye vs chisora any night of the week over klit vs thompson. you get 2 thumbs down on your deep thinker comment.

mortcola says:

Interesting Rad. On the one hand, the tall trees of the past (Carnera, Willard) were able to beat a lot of guys on size and strength alone (not to mention mob money). GUys this well coordinated and conditioned, at this size, who also have learned the sweet science, are rare in history. But so are guys like Conn and Dempsey, or Marciano, who could hang with or even chop down tall trees. Do you think Dempsey coulda hung with either Klitschko? Would Marciano have gotten anywhere near the chin of a Lewis or Klitschko - agile and skilled giants, compared to the giant slabs of history? Do you think is way past time for a superheavy division, to match the evolution of bigger, more formidable athletes?

dino da vinci says:

Interesting Rad. On the one hand, the tall trees of the past (Carnera, Willard) were able to beat a lot of guys on size and strength alone (not to mention mob money). GUys this well coordinated and conditioned, at this size, who also have learned the sweet science, are rare in history. But so are guys like Conn and Dempsey, or Marciano, who could hang with or even chop down tall trees. Do you think Dempsey coulda hung with either Klitschko? Would Marciano have gotten anywhere near the chin of a Lewis or Klitschko - agile and skilled giants, compared to the giant slabs of history? Do you think is way past time for a superheavy division, to match the evolution of bigger, more formidable athletes?


'Kill the body and the head will die.'

Nice thing about boxing is you don't necessarily have to get near someone's chin to defeat them. It certainly helps, but it's not mandatory.

mortcola says:

'Kill the body and the head will die.'

Nice thing about boxing is you don't necessarily have to get near someone's chin to defeat them. It certainly helps, but it's not mandatory.


I knew someone wise would bring up body shots. but, same question applies.....

dino da vinci says:

@mortcola. I have to believe it was a Dempsey-type that Frank had in mind when he said you can disrupt K, who happens to be a slow starter, with a guy capable of coming out quickly and throwing rocks. With either brother, I'd like Jack. I have a world of respect for the Bros. K, but, seeing that styles make fights, I see Dempsey as majorly troublesome for both of them. As for addressing yet another weight division, it really depends on what day you catch me on. Some days it's we really need to add something north of 190/200/210 but south of 225/230 to be fair to small heavyweights. Other days, the 'well, big guys really have a lot of body surface to protect'. It reminds me of the time in another sport that baseball's Frank Howard was taking batting practice, and knocking most pitches out of sight, to the horror of some pitchers. Whitey Ford, pitching ace of the Yankees, said "wow"..."look at the size of that strike zone". Sometimes it's just a matter of how you look at things.

mortcola says:

@mortcola. I have to believe it was a Dempsey-type that Frank had in mind when he said you can disrupt K, who happens to be a slow starter, with a guy capable of coming out quickly and throwing rocks. With either brother, I'd like Jack. I have a world of respect for the Bros. K, but, seeing that styles make fights, I see Dempsey as majorly troublesome for both of them. As for addressing yet another weight division, it really depends on what day you catch me on. Some days it's we really need to add something north of 190/200/210 but south of 225/230 to be fair to small heavyweights. Other days, the 'well, big guys really have a lot of body surface to protect'. It reminds me of the time in another sport that baseball's Frank Howard was taking batting practice, and knocking most pitches out of sight, to the horror of some pitchers. Whitey Ford, pitching ace of the Yankees, said "wow"..."look at the size of that strike zone". Sometimes it's just a matter of how you look at things.


Good answer. I'm not sure how well a short armed 5'11" fighter would reach a Klitschko, or do much damage with the occasional punches he would land. But in principle, that is the way to do it. Chisora actually showed some of that in his fight with Vitali - he just didn't have the agility to make it more than interesting.

dino da vinci says:

Good answer. I'm not sure how well a short armed 5'11" fighter would reach a Klitschko, or do much damage with the occasional punches he would land. But in principle, that is the way to do it. Chisora actually showed some of that in his fight with Vitali - he just didn't have the agility to make it more than interesting.


Bert Sugar once said something I thought was most insightful and unique. When playing the What If game, (What if Marciano fought Holmes?) Bert would allow the fighter from yesteryear some givens. He would make them bigger, allowing for better diet, natural growth of the species, etc. The example he used at the time was Dempsey and (I want to say) Louis (Or was it Ali?). I thought it an excellent insight at the time. Really, why should the modern day fighter have all the best of it?

Radam G says:

WOW! Mortcola, I think that Dempsey would have kayoed Doc Wlad K and decisioned Doc Vitali K. Dempsey was a beast. He moved his head, he pounded the body, he hit under the armpits, he feinted, he jabbed he rolled, he countered, he had balance and he was one mean mofu, who spit in your eye and talk about your daddy and your ugly little brother and fat cousin. He did all that none of the nowadays heavies who fight the K-bros/docs don't do.

The K-bro/docs are good fighters -- but mentally weak. I'm in not the gang of believing that the big man -- even if that sucka was mentally tough -- can always or often beat the little one. History and gravity are against giants.

Dempsey would even kick the K-bros/docs behind in basketball. No Jack or Mack can convince me with big-man hype. I'm been there and seen that. Big men are whack in the game of amateur or professional pugilism!

The K-bros/docs are exceptions to the rule. But not that much of an exception. Again, they have benefitted from the creation of pseudodivisions and BIG MOOLA paid to the small men to keep 'em outta of the heavyweight class or no giant would even be a contenders. This is my story, and I'm sticking with it. Holla!

mortcola says:

Nice work, Dino and Rad. This is a good "what if?"

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