Big-hearted welterweight Mark Thompson continues his march towards a domestic title shot with an appearance on the October 17 York Hall fight card this weekend, supporting the main event of Ian Napa vs. Carmelo Ballone for the European bantamweight championship.
The sturdy 27 year old is coming off three consecutive stoppage victories already this year but the Manchester area slugger could have a difficult time improving upon that mark as Latvian hard man Gatis Skuja is a proven, durable light middleweight who will test Thompson's resolve during their six rounder on Friday night.
Thompson won the British Boxing Board of Control Sportsman of the Year Award in 2007 for stepping up in weight on short notice to face WBC International light middleweight titlist Vincent Vuma and mounting a highly competitive challenge before suffering an eighth round stoppage.
The Heywood resident won the vacant International Masters welterweight title in May with a first round knockout of Polish southpaw Maurycy Gojko, who had only had previously only been stopped by future European light welter champion Ted Bami fighting as a welterweight.
A title bout could be just around the corner for the popular Thompson, but "The Heywood Hammer" must first defeat the iron-willed Skuja and pull off a sharp performance in the process if he is to get the chance to trade punches with the best in the UK.
Frank Maloney Promotions presents "Dapa Napa", Ian Napa vs. Carmelo Ballone for the Bantamweight Championship of Europe, supported by full undercard, at York Hall, London, England on Friday, October 17, 2008.
Tickets are priced at £75 and £35 and are available by logging onto www.frankmaloney.com or by calling the Box Office at 0871 226 1508.
Sky Sports will televise the action live on SS1 starting at 9:30pm.