By Terence Dooley
Heywood’s Mark Thompson faces a tough test at Germany’s Sporthalle venue in Hamburg on Saturday night when he challenges the undefeated Ecuador-born, Germany-based contender Jack Culcay, 26, for the WBA Inter-Continental light-middleweight title on the undercard of Alexander Povetkin versus Hasim Rahman. VIP Boxing Promotions’s Steve Wood presented Thompson, 31, with the opportunity to take the fight earlier this week and the 24-1 (14) boxer wasted no time in accepting it.
“No, not really, because I have watched the kid and he has lots of amateur success, but we’ll see what he’s made of in the pro game,” said Thompson when speaking to BoxingScene about whether he hesitated before taking the title opportunity against the 2009 World Amateur Games welterweight gold medalist.
“You know yourself, you go over there (Germany) and can win the fight and not get the decision, so I’m going to put some punches on him to try and take away the win. I actually prefer this type of fight to (fighting) a journeyman who just comes to hold on. This kid will be confident because he’s had 12 (wins) and knocked out eight, so hopefully he comes for a fight and we’ll see what he can do.”
Thompson took a title fight at relatively short notice once before when the “KO Kid” stepped up against Vincent Vuma for the vacant International WBC light-middleweight title in July 2007 only to be stopped in the eighth-round. Thomson, though, was game early in that one and floored Vuma with a wicked left hook to the body in round five, but his lack of experience — he had never been beyond the sixth before — told in the seventh and eighth.
Despite this, the 154lb contender believes that the lessons learned from that night, not to mention his development since the Sky-televised meeting with Vuma, will come to the fore in Germany on Saturday.
“That’s why I took the fight,” he said. “I’ve had 25 fights, have done my apprenticeship, know what I have done wrong in the past and can go there and take away this WBA (title). I’m (training) with Anthony Farnell now. We’ve only been together a few weeks, so it has been a mad rush, but it is going well.”
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