IBF GRANTS HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION WLADIMIR KLITSCHKO EXCEPTION TO FACE WBO MANDATORY CHALLENGER TONY THOMPSON
New York, April 10—The International Boxing Federation has granted Heavyweight Champion Wladimir Klitschko an exception to fight Tony Thompson (31-1, 19 KO’s), the World Boxing Organization mandatory challenger. The fight is expected to take place during July in Germany, on a date and site to be determined, it was announced today by K2 Promotions’ Tom Loeffler, and Klitschko Management Group’s managing director Bernd Boente.
Klitschko holds three belts – the IBF, IBO and WBO titles – on the strength of his unanimous 12 round decision over Sultan Ibragimov at Madison Square Garden last February 23. The 1996 Olympic Gold medalist, Klitschko (50-3, 44 KOs) is one of the most talented heavyweights of this era, and his dominance has led him to three heavyweight world titles. After holding the WBO title from 2000 to 2003, the 32-year old Klitschko also won the IBF title from Chris Byrd in 2006, made three title defenses with KO victories over Calvin Brock, Ray Austin, and Lamon Brewster, and then the Unification over Ibragimov to take the WBO championship.
“I am very happy about the fair decision by the IBF, because Thompson has already been waiting for a year as the mandatory challenger,” said Klitschko. “There is a reason why Thompson is number one in the world ranking – he hasn’t lost in eight years! I saw his knockout win in Germany over Luan Krasniqi, and definitely will not underestimate him. I look forward to getting back into the ring in July and to defending the titles again by the end of the year.”