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Thompson returns to the ring, wins via TKO

Lionell Thompson has a little more security now that he is part of Floyd Mayweather's stable of professional boxers.

That doesn't mean Thompson is comfortable or complacent. The Buffalo native who now lives in Las Vegas is still driven by a single goal in his chosen profession – becoming a world champion.

Thompson took another step toward that objective Friday night in Temecula, Calif., where won via TKO over fellow light heavyweight Steve Lovett on the undercard of Showtime’s “ShoBox: The New Generation” card.

Thompson earned the stoppage at 2 minutes, 40 seconds of the fourth round. A right hand to the head of Lovett folowed by a barrage of punches in the corner led to the fight being stopped.

A round earlier, Thompson hurt Lovett with a left hook to the body.

While Thompson's fight wasn't televised on Showtime, that didn't stop the five-time state Golden Gloves champion and former Olympic Team hopeful from achieving his pre-fight goal of "winning spectacularly."

"I'm trying to make the most of this opportunity and not let Floyd down," Thompson said.

Thompson (18-4, 11 KOs) is 3-1 since being signed to a four-year deal nearly two years ago by Mayweather, the former world champion – considered the greatest pound-per-pound boxer of the last 25 years by ESPN – who has 31 boxers fighting under his promotional company.

Thompson, 31, entered Friday coming off a victory via decision over then 25-win fighter and former two-time IBF United States Boxing Association champion Donovan George last September

All but one of Thompson’s losses has been via split decision.

The lone exception was a TKO loss to eventual undisputed world champion Sergey Kovalev (30-1) more than four years ago.

Since that defeat, Thompson has hooked up with more experienced managers and promoters – culminating with Mayweather taking notice of him during a workout in a Vegas gym and signing him to a deal. The behind the scenes stability has made Thompson's job easier.

"Now I feel more comfortable," he said. "I can just focus on fighting and training.

"It's an expectation. You have to go out there and focus. Floyd is the best of this era. He saw something in me and God willing I'm just going to keep winning … and someday I'll be a world champion."

The 31-year-old Lovett (15-2, 12 KOs) was looking to bounce back from his first career loss, an eighth-round knockout last June to Craig Baker.

It didn't happen as he's the latest boxer who attempted to climb the ladder at Thompson's expense only to have his path blocked by Don Patterson-trained fighter.

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