Super heavyweights Thompson, Hamer set
for rematch at National Golden Gloves tourney
by Steve Vedder | The Grand Rapids Press
Thursday May 08, 2008, 4:10 AM
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GRAND RAPIDS -- You can't blame Lenroy Thompson if he was at least a little intimidated.
Watching an upcoming opponent knock three teeth from another fighter can easily have that
effect. That's what Thompson was up against when he fought unbeaten Tor Hamer in the
U.S. Championships in Colorado Springs in March. A native of Ft. Pierce, Fla., Thompson
had heard all he needed to hear about Hamer's boxing exploits prior to their semifinal fight,
then saw him thump an opponent some considered the championships' favorite. Instead of
wilting, Thompson dealt Hamer, from Geneva, N.Y., the first loss of his career. The two
actually tied 12-12 on a computer decision, with Thompson winning on a tiebreaker via
effective aggression. "It didn't bother me," said Thompson, who will now have to fend off
Hamer again in tonight's super heavyweight quarterfinals of the 2008 Golden Gloves
National Tournament of Champions at DeVos Place. "Everyone is a little different, but you
just make sure you prepare a little more. "It didn't bother me." Hamer remembers the
teeth-loosening incident, but said that's part of boxing. He doubts there's much that
intimidates Thompson, then or now. "I was worried about my own teeth," he said. The two
advanced to tonight's quarterfinals with impressive wins Wednesday. Hamer's fight with
Frank Tate of Knoxville was stopped in the second round while Thompson decisioned Erick
Correa of Chicago 5-0. The two boxers had never met until the U.S. Championships, but
have developed a mutual respect for each other. After both won second-round fights, the
two traded invitations to visit each other and play video games and talk boxing this summer.
Hamer said Thompson is not the kind of fighter he enjoys meeting in the ring. "He's
frustrating," Hamer said. "It's like road rage when he's in there. He's like a drunken monkey
-- he's all over the place. You have a hard time hitting him because he's always moving,
swaying. He knows what he's doing and that makes him an extremely tough opponent.
"I compare him to Kryptonite." Thompson said there actually was one advantage in seeing
Hamer crush his U.S. Championships opponent. If Thompson had ever looked past an
opponent before, he knew that was suicide against Hamer. "I can't be intimidated, but it was
a wakeup call," he said. "I feel pretty confident, but anything can happen. You just prepare
to win and be in the finals. "He's a nice guy and it'll be my hardest fight in the tournament. A
lot can happen in a fight." Hamer refused to say there's a revenge factor involved in a
rematch with Thompson. He said when a boxer starts letting feelings getting in the way of
his game, he's in trouble. "It's there in the back of my mind," he said of the U.S.
Championships loss. "But it's never smart to fight with emotion. You have to stick to your
strategy and just box." Thompson points to the three knockouts Hamer had before he beat
him in Colorado Springs. He expects tonight's fight to be similar in terms of strategy and
ferocity to the pair's first meeting. "It'll be a close fight," Thompson said. "He's not a guy I
would choose to fight."