- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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Heavyweight contender Tony Thompson has always gone by the nickname “The Tiger,” but he might to try “Road Warrior” on for size.
The 42-year-old two-time world title challenger from Washington, D.C., is once again headed to Europe for a fight when he takes on France’s Carlos Takam on June 6 in Paris.
The way Thompson (39-4, 26 KOs) sees the matchup, with a win he will be a step closer to his ultimate goal: a third shot at heavyweight champ Wladimir Klitschko, who owns two knockout victories against him.
“I step closer to the main title, then back to Wlad,” Thompson told ESPN.com.
The fight will be Thompson’s sixth in a row in Europe, where he has had mixed results.
In 2012, he suffered a sixth-round knockout loss to Klitschko in their rematch in Switzerland. Then Thompson scored back-to-back upset knockout victories against British heavyweight David Price, both bouts coming in Price’s hometown of Liverpool last year, followed by a decision loss in Germany in a title eliminator to Kubrat Pulev.
Then on March 22, Thompson, a southpaw, went to Turkey and looked good in a split-decision win -- he deserved the unanimous nod -- against house fighter Odlanier Solis, the former Cuban Olympic gold medalist.
Next up is Takam (29-1-1, 23 KOs), 33, whom American fight fans might be familiar with because his last fight was televised on HBO, a 10-round draw with Mike Perez in Montreal on the Jean Pascal-Lucian Bute undercard.