Tony "The Tiger" Thompson arrived in Istanbul, Turkey, this afternoon for his WBC International Championship bout against 2004 Olympic gold medalist Odlanier Solis this Saturday (March 22nd) in Tekirdag.
The ring veteran from Washington, D.C. is used to traveling. The clash with Solis will be Thompson's fifth consecutive fight outside of the USA. His last bout on home soil has been a third round TKO win over Maurice Harris almost three years ago. While "The Tiger" lost his last fight on the road - a lopsided 12 round unanimous decision to IBF #1 Kubrat Pulev in Schwerin in August 2013 - he also had some success fighting abroad recently, knocking out British prospect David Price twice in February and July 2013.
Even at age 42 and after losing twice to world champion Wladimir Klitschko (in July 2008 and in July 2012), Thompson is still considered a gate keeper in the heavyweight division and should be Solis' toughest test so far - not taking into account the Cuban's sole loss in March 2011 when his world title fight against Vitali Klitschko was stopped in the first round due to a knee injury.
"Solis vs. Thompson is surely a crossroads fight for both guys which could go either way", says promoter Ahmet Oner. "For me, this is one of the best possible fights in the heavyweight division at the moment. It will surely be a different story than the farce between Wilder and Scott last Saturday. And it is also a better fight than Klitschko vs. Leapai. I still believe that Odlanier Solis is the only fighter who can beat Wladimir Klitschko. All other guys like Wilder, Jennings, Stiverne and Arreola have no chance against Solis when he is in top shape and lives up to his potential. But that is exactly what he has to do next weekend against Thompson. Because Thompson is so experienced that Solis cannot afford to make any mistake. I am sure that it will be a great fight."
In the co-feature of the night promising Turkish-German heavyweight prospect Agit Kabayel (9-0, 7 KOs) will fight for his first professional title when he takes on rugged contender Gbenga Oloukun (18-9, 11 KOs) for the vacant WBC Mediterranean championship. The show will be broadcasted live by Kanalturk in Turkey, by Sportdigital in association with Sky Germany in Germany and on Boxnation in the UK.