The Messenger Journeys to Dimona, Israel
Anthony “The Messenger” Thompson has prepared for his June 9 fight with Yuri Foreman with time in the gym, sparring, running the miles, punishing the body, thinking with a fighter’s mind to focus on his undefeated opponent. Thompson also had two weeks in Floyd Mayweather’s training camp for Oscar De La Hoya, valuable time in which he gained knowledge and skill from the pound for pound king.
“I thank Team Mayweather.” Thompson said. ” When my granddaddy taught me “wisdom is power,” he never lied. Floyd Mayweather touched me more by talking to me that he did with his hands. And what he told me was “we don’t get tired. Black people got a lot of talent but we ain’t never in condition. And that’s all I had to hear. When I came back I’ve been training like a monster ever since.”
Pushing himself physically, and also mentally, getting his mind around facing his undefeated opponent. For Thompson, boxing is made up of three, even four components: physical, mental, spiritual and emotional. Now he’s going the extra mile to face Foreman. Several thousand miles to Dimona, Israel, the land of his heritage for spiritual and emotional training that will further define his career.
Anthony Thompson and Yuri Foreman appear similar on paper. Both young, tall, orthodox fighters, well ranked in the competitive middleweight division. Foreman undefeated, (22-0); Thompson (23-1) with a single loss and a higher knockout ratio. Foreman is a Russian Jew and Thompson is a Hebrew Israelite, which is probably of little consequence to the casual fight fan, but a point Thompson feels strongly should be clarified. Many people confuse Thompson for being Jewish.
The difference between the two is an issue Thompson labors mightily to correct.
When asked the difference between Jewish and Hebrew Israelites, Thompson illustrated his point:
“It’s more of a religious standpoint. You can convert to being a Jew. A Hebrew, what people don’t understand, is the Hebrew Israelites; the twelve tribe of Hebrews was a nation of people. Like your ethnic background, like your nationality. If I asked you what’s your nationality. I can’t call myself black. I’ve never seen a black man a day in my life. They say that we’re African because we come from Africa. But that’s not true. It’s not where you’re born that makes you who you are. It’s the lineage of people that you come from. That’s like Oscar going back to Puerto Rico and Mexico and things of that nature, because that’s where he came from. But not only does he come from Mexico, his ethnicities of people are Mexican. I’m not a African.”
“I’ll give you an example. If a Korean man moved to Puerto Rico and have a son there, does that make his son Puerto Rican? No, it doesn’t make his son Puerto Rican. It’s gonna make his son still Korean because his father’s Korean. So- the difference between Judaism is you can convert. You can’t convert to a nationality. I can’t convert into being a Korean. You can convert into being Islam, you can convert to being a Christian but you can not convert to being a Hebrew Israelite because that’s nation of people. It’s not a religion.”
“There’s no such thing as “Jew”. The word Jew doesn’t even exist. In the English language it exists, but me being knowledgeable unto what I know, and what I’m into, the word Jew doesn’t exist. There is no such thing as a Jew. The word Jew is a root word, which means “Judah”. Judah was one, one of the twelve tribes. And anybody that was from the land of Judea was called a Jew. But there is no such thing as Jew. That’s like the word Jewish means to be like a Jew. It doesn’t mean you are. ”
Thompson’s tribal heritage is traceable from the two tribes that were separated from the original twelve, and fled to the western part of Africa. The Africans then sold the Hebrew Israelites into captivity. There was no war- they were never conquered. The Hebrew Israelites were purchased as slaves in exchange for frankincense, myrrh, gold and gunpowder.
“Which is how we actually got over to America, Thompson said. “It’s a lot of history and why I get so much recognition about being a Hebrew Israelite because they know I know what I’m talking about. I’m not gonna argue and say Yuri Foreman is not a Jew. I’m not even gonna get into that. All I’m gonna do is stake my claim. I’m going back. It’s one thing to say something, it’s one thing to read about it, then it’s another thing to go there. And I’m going back to stake my claim. I have people – family members in Dimona in Israel that have been established there for the last forty years.”
The claims Thompson is staking are both emotional and spiritual on this pilgrimage. He said his purpose is “go back, see my people, get the spiritual connection, have my nation and ethnic people be behind me, support me, because this is just as big, bigger than a physical war. It’s a war that is untold, the people are not really gonna speak about- him being Jewish and me being Hebrew. I’m definitely gonna need the spiritualism. I will praise my Creator in a land we all read about, the place of biblical and historical moments. I want to see the land King David walked upon, go in the Jordan River, go by the Red Sea Moses parted. Have a chance to see all this I once read about.”
Team Thompson will be hosted by spiritual leader Ben Ammi who has welcomed such celebrities as Stevie Wonder into his fold. During the week in Dimona, Thompson’s focus will be to “train me on the inside. I got a tremendous team with my brother Tyonn, Nasi Yabok and my sparring partners Demetrius Hopkins and Rasheem Brown, and this is the best camp Team Thompson has ever had, but I’m gonna go away for one week to get myself together. Eat right, sleep right, pray, and ask for forgiveness for all my sins I’ve committed against my Creator. Dwell amongst my people for a week.” When I come back, that next Sunday, starting back Monday it will be back to hard work.”
Thompson acknowledges Oscar De La Hoya has the support of a huge fan base in Mexico and Puerto Rico, and that he represents his people well. Thompson seeks to bring this kind of pride to his people each time he steps into the ring. A victory over Yuri Foreman will further instill pride in his race and bring them closer to being recognized.
Thompson has prepared for Foreman with everything he possesses- body, mind, heart and soul. He considers this to be the biggest fight in his career, and knows Foreman will be in for the fight of his life.
“I refuse to get tired, or I refuse to let Yuri Foreman out point me. He’s gonna have to hurt me come June 9. I’m bringing everything I got- EVERYTHING. And all I got to say to Yuri Foreman is “shalom and good luck. “Cause I’m comin’.”