MANILA, Philippines - Tina Thompson the other day talked about the NBA Junior program and her glorious past in the WNBA. Then she talked about volleyball and tennis, the two other sports close to her heart.
But as her exclusive 10-minute conversation with The STAR was winding down, it shifted to boxing. She knows a bit about boxing and some of its greatest fighters.
Thompson said she loved watching some of Muhammad Ali’s fights as well as Mike Tyson’s.
And just recently, Thomson had the chance to watch a fight of Floyd Mayweather Jr. live.
“For the first time went to a boxing match and it was Floyd Mayweather, Jr.,” said Thompson who sat on a big, comfortable chair during the interview at Hotel Sofitel.
“I like Mayweather but I think I only like him because my other favorite boxer was Mike Tyson and of course Muhammad Ali. I like them because they finish their fights really quickly,” she went on.
Thompson, who had a short fling with volleyball during high school, wanted short fights because she can’t bear and watch guys being up for a period of time.
She prefers fights that don’t last the distance.
“It’s really hard for me to watch a guy who continues to get beat up over and over. It’s tough for me,” she said.
And as she talked about boxing, she was asked if he knew Manny Pacquiao.
She said “yes” even before The STAR could finish the question.
“I know Manny Pacquiao,” said Thompson.
The 39-year-old American is one of those wanting to see the Filipino superstar face Mayweather in a super fight.
“I cannot wait until Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather box each other. I hope it’s something that will happen like eventually,” she said.
Thompson was already playing volleyball for her school but was kicked out of the team because she can’t get her mind off basketball.
In volleyball practice, often held in a basketball gym, she would end up throwing the volleyball to the basket until the time her coach got fed up.
“It was second nature to me to have a ball in my hands and shoot it. So my coach threatened me that the next time that I did it I would be off the team. And I did it again,” she said.
Thompson was laughing as she told the story.
“And once I shot it came to my mind that ‘This is it.’ I was out of the gym and that was the end of my volleyball career,” said the lady who went on to become a great WNBA superstar.
Thompson also loves tennis so much that in her “bucket list” one of her wishes is for her to see all the Majors.
“I absolutely love watching tennis,” she said.
But there’s one more thing she can’t wait to see: Pacquiao vs Mayweather.
“I think Floyd is actually running out of guys to fight so I think it’s inevitable that at some point they will fight each other,” she said.
“Possibly for Floyd’s last fight because he’s retiring soon. So, I hope that his final fight will be against Manny Pacquiao.”
For Thompson, there’s no other fight left to see.