Boxing: Wladimir Klitschko taunts Thompson over injury claim

Wladimir Klitschko mocked 40-year-old Tony Thompson ahead of their world heavyweight title bout in Switzerland tonight.

Klitschko will stretch his eight-year unbeaten run to 16 fights if, as expected, he beats Thompson this evening to retain his WBO, WBA and IBF titles at the Stade de Suisse in Bern.

The two met in Hamburg four years ago when Klitschko knocked his American opponent out in the 11th round.

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Thompson later claimed a knee problem prevented him from being at his best, but Klitschko claims the American made the injury up as an excuse for his defeat.

The Ukrainian brought the issue up yesterday, saying: “We sat here four years ago and you said you were going to beat me. You were going to knock me out. You were very confident but you lost and after you said you were injured. I don’t understand why you only said you had the injury after the fight.”

Although Thompson has won his five fights since the Klitschko bout, he is still a huge outsider to beat ‘Dr Steelhammer’.

Klitschko has been accused of opting for easier fights in the past but he had no other option than to take on Thompson because he is the IBF mandatory challenger.

“I had no choice (but to fight Thompson),” Klitschko added. “I have to defend my titles, but to fight Tony Thompson is not an easy job. It’s not going to be a vacation fight for me.”

Thompson has lost twice in a 38-fight career that stretches back 12 years. He may be coming towards the end of his career, but the Washington DC southpaw insists he is capable of pulling off an upset tonight. “My job is to try to crash the party,” Thompson said. “I feel wonderful. I’m not beat up or anything.”