|Anthony Thompson: "This is my opportunity, and I'm not going to let it pass me by."
INTERVIEW by Anthony Santiago (June 5, 2007) Doghouse Boxing (Photo © German Villasenor)
When fight fans hear of June 9, they think of Zab Judah versus explosive undefeated Puerto Rican sensation Miguel Cotto. What they don't acknowledge as much is the undercard. Sure, the main even is the most important fight, but the undercard has fighters who can and will be big stars in the future. Two of the fighters on the card who will square off are Yuri Foreman, 22-0 (8), and Anthony ‘The Messenger’ Thompson, 23-1 (17).
I don't know too much on Foreman, but I do know he's a hungry, undefeated contender looking to be a world champion and keeping his unblemished record intact. Anthony Thompson is more than a contender in my eyes. He's sparred with Floyd Mayweather for his fight with Oscar De La Hoya, and he's sparred with De La Hoya in training for Bernard Hopkins. To be asked to spar with both of those greats means you must be pretty
Thompson has won eight straight fights since his lone loss to Grady Brewer three years ago. His latest and most impressive win, a sixth round TKO of ring veteran Robert ‘Push Up’ Frazier. He pummeled Frazier over those six rounds and due to the ringside physician's advice, the fight was stopped after six. Now he's got another good name coming his way when he climbs into the ring with Foreman.
With only one week away from his June 9 showdown with Foreman, Anthony Thompson took time out to speak to Doghouse Boxing. By his words, he sounds extremely confident he will win and will definitely come out guns blazing.
AS: Thanks for taking the time to speak with me Anthony.
AT: No problem.
AS: So I learned you were a sparring partner for Oscar De La Hoya in 2004 for his mega fight with Bernard Hopkins. What was the experience like?
AT: It was an experience of a lifetime. When you’re an up and coming fighter, it's good to get to spar with guys like him. It's good to go in there and hold your own against these guys. He touched me more with words of confidence than he did with his gloves. He gave me a whole lot of confidence.
AS: I learned you also sparred with Floyd Mayweather. How'd that go?
AT: Like I said, it was an experience of a lifetime. I definitely learned a lot more by talking to him than I did in the ring. He shared some time with me and explained to me how to get to the next level.
AS: Your lone loss was a third round TKO coming to The Contender Season 2 winner Grady Brewer. What have you learned since then and how have you improved?
AT: I am more confident, and that will never happen again. I've put it behind me now, and have been successful in every fight since then. I am a totally different fighter and have a new trainer, Bozy. He's been great and I'm completely different.
AS: How did you get the nickname ‘The Messenger’?
AT: My brother Tyonn and I came up with it. It contradicts with my character. I didn't want a name like ‘2pounds’ or ‘2gunz’ because I wanted a name that reflected me as a person. The Messenger reflects my religion.
AS: A friend of mine told me, in your early days you were elected not to fight on a Saturday due to your religion. Could you elaborate?
AT: Sure, well I'm a Hebrew Israelite. It was basically my Sabbath day and that restricts me from fighting from Friday night to Saturday until sunset. After sunset on a Saturday night, I'm allowed to fight.
AS: How will you be prepared for Yuri Foreman on June 9?
AT: There's no particular preparation. I'm very confident in myself. I will program my mind, train hard, and win by any means necessary. I'm not going to say I'm going to use my jab and move and all that. But I will be victorious. We WILL win this fight.
AS: I remember you and Sechew Powell were scheduled to fight. It fell through. Is he still someone you'd like to fight?
AT: I doubt it.
AS: Any reasons for that?
AT: Na, I don't think the fans want to see me fight Sechew.
AS: You certainly could be the future of the light middleweight division, and winning against Foreman next week could open the door of opportunity. How do you feel you'd do against guys like Cory Spinks, Kassim Ouma, and Travis Simms?
AT: I think I match up great. I don't have a problem with talent. In fact, I'm more technical and a better fighter than all of them. June 9, this is my opportunity and I'm not going to let it pass me by.
AS: Well, like I said, if you get past Foreman you could position yourself at a major contender in the neat future, is there anything you'd like to say in closing?
AT: I want to say thank you to my fans, and my family, and my brothers and sisters. Shalom and everybody over in Israel, and Teen Thompson.
AS: Thank you Anthony. Good luck June 9 against Foreman. I'll definitely be watching.
AT: Thank you.
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