3rd April 2012

The race to become Britain’s top heavyweight gathers pace over the next few months with both Tyson Fury and David Price in action. Hopes are high regarding the Liverpool prospect. Tipped by many as the next to break through and challenge the best on the world scene, he next meets Sam Sexton at Aintree Racecourse on May 19. The winner will claim the British title vacated by Fury earlier this year. Fury now faces a hurdle to jump on March 14 for the vacant Irish title.

It was a great disappointment that Fury and Price failed to battle for supremacy in the ring. Disagreements over money, television rights, and a host of other difficulties resulted in Fury dropping his title for the supposed greener pastures awaiting him. 40-year-old Martin Rogan is now slated to face the Mancunian.

Rogan is a tenacious character, but still leagues below the Klitschko brothers, who Fury claims he is ready to tackle. The 23-year-old was in hot water against Pajkic last year – suffering a knockdown in the second round – but went on to secure a stoppage in the third. Criticisms have been made of his poor conditioning and lack of defensive skills. To convince observers that he is truly the best in Britain, Fury must impress by cleanly dispatching the Irishman, who has already been defeated by Sam Sexton twice.

Sexton – whose only two losses come courtesy of Britain’s Dereck Chisora – is a former Prizefighter winner and Commonwealth title-holder. The 27-year-old has stated his belief that Price is overrated and yet to be fully tested. While the latter is certainly true, Price has displayed world class attributes in his powerful and accurate jab, utilising his long reach and intimidating 6’8” frame to stalk down his opposition in the ring. He earned a bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and his success has thus far continued as a professional.

Unbeaten in 12 fights, the Liverpudlian demolished John McDermott inside the first round in January this year.  He has a habit of making his competitors look ordinary, and has his sights set on a world title in the future.

His skills and size made him the perfect sparring partner for David Haye before his ill-fated clash with Wladimir Klitschko last July. Yet his lack of experience is the one thing hampering him from a move to the very top. Denied the chance to take on Britain’s heavyweight prospect, Tyson Fury, it’s proving a frustrating task to gain the testing rounds needed to develop and progress in his division.

Injury woes have hampered the 28-year-old. The Liverpool man does not want to linger too long on the domestic scene before he mixes with a higher calibre, yet still needs to acquire crucial mileage as a pro.

Sexton can be explosive in range, but only six of his 15 wins have come via KO. Having already suffered TKO losses himself, and shown weakness when under fire from opponents such as Rogan and Olubamiwo, his chin and durability have been called into question. Sexton certainly possesses boxing skills – both offensive and defensive – but can ‘switch off’ during bouts and look vulnerable.

He will need to be extra sharp against Price, moving in with his heavy flurries of shots to the body and head after the Liverpool man throws his jab. The longer he can push the fight, the further he may take Price from his comfort-zone.

Sexton could certainly prove a more aggressive combatant than he has encountered before; the Norwich man has been in some fevered wars. Of course, this should hopefully mean his meeting with Price will be an engaging affair.

Price’s ability to leap in with his long, straight shots and combinations could result in a tricky night’s work for the burly Norwich battler.  The 28-year-old Price is a cool character who has never, so far, struggled to dictate fights with his calculating approach. Few have taken his thunderous right hand flush without being sent reeling; 10 of his 12 victories have been KOs. Having never gone past the seventh round, he will again plot for an early night by catching Sexton with his vicious range of shots.

Should Price, as predicted, get past Sexton and continue his dominance over the British scene, tougher tests must come. His professional attitude is certainly promising, and if the talent he possesses grows along with his confidence, there can only be good things in store for the Merseyside boxer.

David Price vs. Sam Sexton is live on Sky Sports on May 19th.

By Jane G.

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