–Malik Scott maintained distance utilizing his jab and lateral movement over the first four rounds, easily timing and landing right hands against Tony Thompson.
–An increasingly relaxed Scott commanded the middle of the ring throughout the middle rounds. In the sixth, he loaded up on the sluggish Thompson with lead rights, left hooks and uppercuts.
–Thompson dropped Scott with a big right hook to the temple in the ninth round, but Scott made it to the final bell and won a unanimous decision.
Tony Thompson vowed to “methodically” dismantle Malik Scott at The Venue at UCF in Orlando, Florida, but it was Scott who owned the ring most of the night in the meeting of veteran American heavyweights.
With champion Deontay Wilder looking on from ringside, the 6-foot-4 Scott (38-2-1, 13 KOs) was the slicker fighter throughout, surviving a ninth-round knockdown to earn a unanimous decision over the 44-year-old Thompson (40-6, 27 KOs).
The 35-year-old Scott looked the fresher fighter the entire fight, and dictated the tempo from the start. The Philadelphia native used his jab and lateral movement against Thompson to land his right hand seemingly at will.
Scott also employed spin moves to force Thompson to the ropes before getting off several more shots. He continued to outmaneuver the plodding Thompson into the third, where he shook him on two occasions, the second time with successive left uppercuts.
“My skill set was good, but this is one of those tapes I will hate to look at when I get home,” Scott said. “Tony got away with a lot. I was making him miss and not making him pay.”
Although Scott absorbed some body blows along the ropes in the fourth, his head feints and angles were still enough to set up right hand and left-hook counters.
Starting in the fifth, an increasingly relaxed Scott dangled his hands and commanded the middle of the ring. In the sixth, he increasingly loaded up on the sluggish Thompson with lead rights, left hooks and uppercuts—often uncontested.
“He was just too fast. If I was 43, I would have caught him,” Thompson said. “A prime Tony would have kicked his ass, but I’m 44 and the years are starting to pile up.
“Malik did a great job of staying away until I was able to catch him with one good shot. He just pitty-patted his way to victory. I would rate my performance a ‘D’ at best.”
Thompson did his best work to the body during the rare moments when he got Scott on the ropes, but the former title contender floored Scott with a big right hand to the temple in the ninth.
Scott was able to survive the knockdown and make it to the final bell, winning 95-94, 96-93 and 98-91 on the judges' scorecards.
“I was hurt in the ninth, definitely,” Scott said. “But I’m in great shape and I wasn’t worried about it. I got through it and let him know he’d have to do it again to win this fight.”
- Thompson vs Scott