Pro boxer Vincent Thompson, pictured center, of Federal Way is 11-0 and just signed a 5-year contract. Pictured left is West Seattle raised Jack Stafford, Jr. Pictured right is Normandy Park resident Sam Ditusa, a police officer in Ballard. Stafford, Ditusa, and Vincent's father, Calvin, are his three coaches.
Local boxer Vincent Thompson now 11-0; signs 5-year contract
By Bob Sims
This is a follow-up report to our pre-fight story about Federal Way boxer "Vicious" Vincent Thompson, two of his coaches, West Seattle-raised Jack Stafford, Jr., and Ballard police officer Sam Ditusa, a Normandy Park resident.
Life is good these days for 29-year-old professional boxer "Vicious" Vincent Thompson.
He is the new father of a baby girl, Hannah. He won his first fight on national TV Friday night, easily defeating Joell Godfrey (14-7-1, 6 KOs) in eight rounds and remaining unbeaten at 11-0. He's traveling to Austria on June 9 for two weeks to spar with the No. 1-ranked heavyweight and world champion Wladimir Klitschko (57-3, 50 KOs). And he just signed a five-year contract with Philadelphia-based Banner Promotions, helping secure his financial future.
"I'm going to be able to take care of my new family," said Thompson from his Federal Way home Sunday. "It's not about myself anymore. I have to be a man and support my family, as well as be a role model and inspiration to them. My baby daughter is the best blessing from God in the world to me."
Hannah was born on Valentine's Day. Her mother, Shavonne Townsend, is his fiancée.
Thompson's contract requires him to fight a minimum of four bouts a year for Banner promoter Arthur Pelullo, well known in the boxing world for putting together quality nationally televised fights. Terms were undisclosed.
"Vince will be fighting again on the June 29th undercard on ESPN in Chicago as well as HBO undercards in August and October," said Ditusa. "We hope to have him up to 17 fights (six more this year) by year's end, which will make up for the stagnant time over the last six months due to severing ties with Brian Halquist."
Thompson signed a long-term contract with Brian Halquist Productions in January, 2011.
"We parted and we are grateful for Brian's help," Ditusa added.
Ditusa is part of Team Thompson, his three coaches including his dad Calvin, also of Federal Way, who joins Ditusa and Stafford.
Calvin and Stafford were unable to attend Thompson's first nationally televised fight at St. Charles, Mo., Friday night on ESPN2, due to the short four-day notice. Calvin, a longtime Boeing employee, was on business in Korea, and Stafford couldn't get the time off from his trucking job.
"They were in my corner in spirit," Thompson said. "They are the best crew in boxing, leaders all. I love them all."
For Calvin, who also trained his son during his amateur career as a youngster, missing his son's fight was tough on him.
"It was hard for me not to be there," Calvin said. "I've always been at his fights since he was a kid. I had to settle for watching it on TV. I thought he could've done something a little different against Joell Godfrey, but all that really matters is that he dominated every round and got the win."
Thompson controlled the fight and scored with his crisp, popping jabs and hard right hooks against the defense-minded, counter-puncher, and won on all three judges' cards, 80-72, 80-72 and 78-74.
"He was the slickest fighter I ever fought," said Thompson. "He moved very well and just wouldn't engage me. I was saying to him, 'C'mon son, do something.' He just chicken-punched me, trying to survive."
Stafford said Vince should've gone to the body more during the fight.
"We're always working on that -- the body, body, body!," Stafford said. "Godfrey is a good fighter. He had good movement, but he couldn't beat Vince. I think Godfrey didn't want to get hurt, so he stayed back."
Thompson said he did try to go the body.
"Godfrey just wouldn't let me, he was so elusive."
Up next for Thompson is his Austrian journey to spar with Klitschko. Everything there is first-class. Thompson will be staying at a five-star hotel, Stanglwirt, at the foot of the Austrian Alps, all expenses paid, and will have the advantage of being coached by Hall of Fame trainer Emanuel Steward, who works with Klitschko.
It will much the same scenario Thompson experienced when he worked with Teddy Atlas last year in Russia with Atlas' charge, WBA heavyweight champion Alexander Povetkin (24-0, 16 KOs).
Thompson said he gained a lot of confidence by being able "to hold his own" with Povetkin when he sparred with him and intends to do the same with Klitschko.
"I'm not going to be his punching bag, I can tell you that," Thompson said. "I'm going to show him I can hold my own, with my fast hands and good movement."
"It will help him being around a heavyweight champ," Ditusa said. "It did wonders for Larry Holmes (as an up-and-comer) being in Muhammad Ali's camp. Vince will round into a complete fighter."
During Thompson's televised fight Friday, Teddy Atlas, who was a boxing commentator for the match, mentioned that Vince had done prison time (weapons charges) in his early 20s, using Thompson as an example of how boxing can help young people turn their lives around.
"Teddy is my guy," Thompson said, adding that he didn't mind Atlas mentioning his past. "Teddy said, 'Hey, he changed his life and that's what matters.' People respect that. People can change."