Wladimir Klitschko sets July defense

Wladimir Klitschko sets July defense

Published Apr. 12, 2012 1:00 a.m. ET

Wladimir Klitschko will defend his WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight titles against American challenger Tony Thompson on July 7 in Berne, Switzerland.

Klitschko says on his website that the 40-year-old Thompson ''gave me one of the toughest challenges in my career'' before he knocked out the southpaw in 2008 in Hamburg, Germany.

Thompson, who has won all five bouts since that defeat, has a career record of 36-2 (24 knockouts).

The bout will be the 36-year-old Ukrainian's 21st world championship fight and his first appearance since a knockout win over Jean-Marc Mormeck of France in March in Duesseldorf, Germany.


Klitschko, the 1996 super heavyweight Olympic champion, is 57-3 (50 KOs).