Rematch certain for Thompson

Boxing

Manchester's Carl Thompson can count on a world championship rematch. But when is another matter. The unlucky Thompson was ahead on all three cards when his right shoulder dislocated and Germany's Ralf Rocchigiani was handed the World Organisation cruiserweight championship after 38 seconds of round 11 at the G-Mex Centre in Manchester on Saturday.

As Thompson was having the joint put back by two ring doctors, the WBO supervisor, John Montana, said he would back any application for a return bout, and the promoter, Frank Warren, will be pushing hard to make it happen later this year.

But it is a worrying injury for any boxer to sustain, and identical to the one suffered by the former WBO featherweight champion, Colin McMillan, in a defence against Colombia's Ruben Palacio in 1992.

After surgery costing something like pounds 10,000, McMillan is still not back to being the fighter he once was, and Thompson will be hoping that his recovery path is a lot smoother.

Thompson received pounds 30,000 for his painful and ultimately deflating night's work, and if Rocchigiani's promoter, Peter Kohl, is willing to pay for home advantage in a second fight, he could earn substantially more for travelling to Berlin.

It was another unfortunate chapter in Thompson's career. Seven months ago, he was stripped of the European title when suffering hand and wrist injuries.

Thompson, who went to the Manchester Royal Infirmary for treatment, said: "The shoulder popped out when I threw a punch and missed in the 10th round. I would have carried on, but it just wasn't possible.

"Rocchigiani hit me when I was on the floor when I went down after the shoulder went. But I take nothing from him. I knew he was a durable guy and I was ready to go the 12 rounds. I hope that I get a rematch."

Thompson was suddenly floored in the fifth, but fortunately caught the German with a big right-hand counter to prevent him from following up the attack.

Rocchigiani, 32, was certainly able. He soaked up Thompson's bombs and had cuts all round his face in a fight which was no purist's dream, but was always full of endeavour.

The bizarre events will be even more difficult to comprehend when Thompson reflects on the fact that he was ahead by 97-92 on two cards, and 99-91 on the other, apparently on course to becoming Manchester's first world champion for 61 years.

n Tommy Morrison, of America, stopped Canada's Donovan Ruddock in the sixth round in Kansas City, Missouri, to win the International Council's vacant heavyweight championship. Morrison knocked down Ruddock with a left hook early in the sixth, and finished him off with a right- left combination. Ruddock did not go down, but the fight was stopped. On the same bill, Roberto Duran knocked out Roni Martinez in the seventh round to win the IBC super-middleweight championship.

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