"Vicious" Vincent Thompson, a southpaw, snaps a jab at the head of "Rock Steady" Jonte Willis (9-4-1) of Tacoma last year at the Emerald Queen. The fight was was billed as a battle of two of the state's top heavyweights. Thompson won on a technical decision in the eighth round of a 10-round bout. The win is considered the best in Thompson's career so far.
"Vicious" Vincent Thompson Wins 12th Consecutive Fight
Federal Way boxer "Vicious" Vincent Thompson won his 12th consecutive fight without a loss last Thursday night, besting Yohan Banks in a six-round unanimous decision at The Hangar on the Fight Club OC undercard in Costa Mesa, Calif., remaining on track to fulfill his dream of becoming heavyweight champion of the world.
"He could not match my hand speed or my foot speed," Thompson said by phone after the fight. "He caught me with a few looping right hands, but they didn't hurt me.
"It was a great win for me, a great one to take home to Federal Way."
Though this win was impressive -- he won all rounds on every judges' scorecard, 60-54 -- Vincent Thompson must still play catchup in the pro boxing world after a late start.
He started his pro career at 26 years old, turning his previously troubled life around.
Thompson, who had a promising amateur career as a youth, served six years of prison time on weapons charges in his early 20s, putting a quick halt to any boxing ambitions.
"Since being released (from prison), he decided to focus on boxing and he has stayed out of trouble," said Vince's father, Cal, who along with Sam Ditusa of Normandy Park, is his son's co-manager and trainer.
Not only has Thompson, who is now 29, become a better boxer these days, his personal life is flourishing too.
He recently married ShaVonne Townsend and each are the proud parents of 10-month-old baby girl, Hannah.
ShaVonne, who stayed home with Hannah, had to agonize over not being able to see her husband's fight when a Mexican TV network's live Internet feed broke down.
She had to wait for Vincent to call her after the fight to hear what happened, finally learning about his big win when he called later that evening.
Thompson, meanwhile, now finds himself betwixt and between at this point in his burgeoning career.
On one hand Thompson hasn't had to deal with the wear and tear most fighters endure early in their careers, so his body is young in that sense, on the other, he is inexperienced.
His boxing skills are so good, however, that it just might be only a matter of time before he seriously contends. It has to play out -- to see how good he is and how good he can become.
He took a positive step in that direction by beating a well-regarded opponent in Banks, who weighed in at 266 pounds, a fighter who has won some big fights in California, including a win over previously unbeaten Skyler Anderson (16-1-1) last May. Banks, a former San Jose State University football lineman, was reportedly in the best shape of his boxing career.
Ditusa, who is also a Seattle Police officer, said Thompson "dominated the fight" against Banks, of Redwood City, Calif.
"The difference was the speed," Ditusa said. "Banks was obviously frustrated he couldn't catch up with Vince."
In the first two rounds, Ditusa said Thompson established his jab and his straight left to the body.
Thompson, 235, is a southpaw.
"He was frustrating Banks with his foot speed, staying away from Banks," Ditusa said.
"In the third round, Banks turned up the pressure, but Vince was counterpunching beautifully," Ditusa added.
"When it looked like they tangled a bit with their feet, Banks threw a hard right hand that caught Vince.
"Vince was already off balance and stumbled back into the turn buckle."
As is often the case with left-handed fighters boxing orthodox right-handers, the feet inevitably get tangled up, causing awkward movement.
"Vince turned it on after that and began punching hard and caught Banks with some hard combinations."
In the sixth round, Banks, knowing the only way he could win was to knock Thompson out, pulled out all the stops.
"Banks came out hard and fast in a last-ditch effort to land a big shot," Ditusa said. "I would've been OK with Vince staying away and using his jab, but VInce went right at him and finished by landing his hardest shots."
Thompson last fought in May, defeating Joell Godfrey (15-9) on ESPN2's "Friday Night Fights."
"I think Vince did well against Banks, though he was working off some ring rust," said Cal Thompson. "I felt Vince could have done a little more, like sitting down on some of punches and showing Banks that not only does he have the fastest hands in the heavyweight division, but that he possesses some power."
"Sitting down" is a technique where a boxer stays in a balanced stance with one foot forward and the other foot back. The boxer pivots off the big toe ("squashing the bug") of his back foot to get his hips into the punch for more torque. It is like when a baseball hitter pivots off his back foot, shifting power from the lower body to upper body like a boxer.
"When Vince sat down on his punches, he was wary of Bank's right hand," Cal Thompson added. "Banks was trying hard to land that big punch. Vince did not showcase the skills he has ... but overall he did well."
What's up next for Thompson?
"Vicious" Vincent will be fighting on Feb. 23, "somewhere in Washington state," said Cal Thompson.
Thompson signed a five-year promotional contract with Southern California-based Roy Englebrecht Productions last month.