Undefeated American light heavyweight prospect Lionell“Lonnie B” Thompson will make his British boxing debut November 12, on the Tyson Fury-Neven Pajkic undercard at EventCity, Trafford Park (next to Trafford Centre) in Manchester, England.
The 26-year-old Thompson (10-0, 6 KOs), who lives and fights out of Buffalo, New York, will be fighting outside of North America for the first time as a professional.
Rated as high as No. 2 in his division as a U.S. amateur boxer, Thompson was a five-time New York Golden Glove and three-time Empire State champion. Lionell also qualified and competed in the prestigious U.S. National Golden Gloves Tournament. As a member of Team USA, he boxed in Connecticut on ABC Sports, and in Romania in the Holden Belt Tournament. Lionell also capture gold medals at the Western Olympic Trials and East Olympic Trials.
Thompson, who is trained by pro boxer Ross Thompson (no relations) in Buffalo, is a graduate of Buffalo State College with a degree in Health and Wellness.
“Lonnie B” made his pro debut in 2009, stopping Zaid Malik in the opening round. Thompson has fought all over New York State, in addition to North Carolina, Delaware, Indiana and Montreal.
Hennessy Sports caught up with Lionell before he heads to the UK.
HS: Lionell how do you feel about fighting in the United Kingdom for the first time?
Thompson: “I feel good about fighting for the first time in the United Kingdom. The closest to England I’ve ever fought was in Romania when I was an amateur. Boxing fans over there are going to love me. I train hard and I’m always in top shape. I’m going to give British fans a brilliant night of boxing.”
HS: Are you excited to be fighting on a card headlined by Tyson Fury?
Thompson: “Yes, excited but not nervous. It’s a big show and great opportunity for me to be fighting on a show headlined by a great fighter like Tyson Fury. I was born to be a superstar. TV and big crowds excite me. I’m at my best when the bright lights come on. Fans there will get a chance to see an up-and-coming star, live and in the flesh, before I become a star.”
HS: What kind of style do you bring into the ring?
Thompson: “Fans can expect to see quick hands and quick reflexes. It’s going to be a one-sided fight, no matter who I’m in the ring with. I have excellent boxing skills and will execute our game plan to a tee. I guess, you can say, my style is a mix of Sugar Ray Leonard, Floyd Mayweather, Roy Jones Jr. and Terry Norris. I hit and don’t get hit. I come forward, can fight in the pocket, and do what I want to do in the ring. I have a hard jab, go to the body, good ring generalship and head movement, and can fight on the inside, too. I’m not cocky, just confident. I never worry about losing. The hard work is done in the gym and the easiest part is the fight.”
HS: Are you concerned about going overseas and fighting in a foreign country?
Thompson: “No. I train hard and I’ll be in great shape. I adapt well to anything, so I’m not concerned with the weather, air or anything over there. I’m ready to go.”
HS: Do you have a statement for British fans?
Thompson: “I want to tell them to get ready to see the next superstar. I’m coming to take over. Tyson Fury is a great fighter. I’m the next big thing in boxing. Get ready for me!”