Anadarko, Oklahoma, USA
December 25, 1919 – June 27, 1984
5’8½” / 73” reach / 157-218lbs
54-15-2-1(39) from 10/04/1938 to 5/17/1952 (13y7m)
0-7-1-0(0) against the top ten
0-0-0-0(0) against linear champions
0-1-0-0(0) against hall-of-famers
no fights for the linear championship
Top ten opponents: D-10 Abe Simon, L-UD-10 Bob Pastor, L-UD-10 Lee Q Murray, L-KO-1 Al Hart, L-UD-10 Jimmy Bivins, L-UD-15 Pat Valentino, L-UD-10 Rex Layne, L-UD-10 Clarence Henry
-6.5 total score (0 + -7 + 0.5 + 0)
I couldn’t find much on Elbert “Turkey” Thompson, except that he hung around the top 10 for quite awhile during the 1940s, cracking the Ring’s ratings in 1941, ’42, ’43, and again in ’47 and ’49. All this, despite never actually beating a top ten heavyweight. He did beat an awful lot of good fighters, though, many of whom were just recently removed from the top ten, or nearly there.
He was a strong, stocky fighter, usually listed as 5’8½”, though an article before his fight with Abe Simon listed him at 5’11½”. He had good power, and was able to knock out several decent fighters. He did tend to lose decisions to the elite, however. His first shot at a top fighter happened in 1941, when he dropped Bob Pastor an amazing six times in the first round, yet went on to lose a 10 round decision (being dropped three times himself in the process). He would lose a second decision to Pastor later in the year, draw with Abe Simon, split a pair of fights with Pat Valentino, knock out, then decision a past-his-prime Gus Dorazio, fight a no contest, and then KO a still-green Elmer Ray, and beat a whole bunch of fringe guys and journeymen. All this between 1941 and 1943.
He dropped out of the top ten in 1944 after losing to prospect Perk Daniels, then contender Lee Q. Murray. He was knocked out in just 1 round by 31-13-3 Al Hart in September 1944, seemingly ending his contender status.
Thompson didn’t fight again for two and a half years, but then came back in April 1947 against Ralph Hooker, winning by 3rd round TKO. Three more wins followed, topped with a clear decision over former contender Arturo Godoy. Thompson then ran into future hall-of-famer Jimmy Bivins, losing for the first time in his comeback. Three more wins led up to a 15 round loss to old foe Pat Valentino at the end of 1948. Thompson then reeled off five straight wins including a knockout of faded contender Lee Q Murray, and a revenge knockout of Al Hart. In January 1950, Thompson lost a majority nod to future contender John Holman, and wouldn’t win again, losing five fights in a row to cap his career.
Turkey Thompson never made it to a title shot, but gave good fights to good fighters, and hung around the top of the division for much of the 1940s.