Giant David Price closed out a most impressive 2012 with last night’s 2nd-round dismantling of the tough and experienced Matt Skelton. Improving to 15-0(13) overall, 29-year-old Price scored his fourth win of this year. Sticking to an active pace, the Liverpudlian took out John McDermott in a round back in January, then dealt with Sam Sexton inside four-rounds in May, before moving on to blast out Audley Harrison in a single session in October and then stop “The Bedford Bear” quicker than anyone else ever has.
Already looking at his next fight, Price is likely to be back in February, against Washington D.C’s Tony Thompson. Then, according to promoter Frank Maloney, his charge will fight either Dereck Chisora or Tyson Fury in the summer (Maloney chucking out big-money offers live on air on BoxNation last night, attempting to make Fury, Price’s most vocal critic, bite and take the match-up) – before moving on and challenging for a piece of the world heavyweight title in the latter months of what promises to be “a massive” 2013.
Thompson, 36-3(24) is 41-years-old and he looked slow and lacking in ambition in his last fight, when he was taken out in the 6th-round by heavyweight king Wladimir Klitschko (a rematch of a 2008 fight, where Thompson did better, lasting into the 11th), but on paper he is certainly a decent test for Price. Almost as tall as the Scouser at a shade over 6’5,” Thompson has lost only to Klitschko and, way, way back in 2007, to Eric Kirkland. A southpaw, “The Tiger” has a good jab and he carries decent punching power.
Still, it would take a brave man to predict that Thompson would stick around too long against Price’s wrecking ball power. In fact, as slow and as ponderous – not to mention intimidated – as he looked against Klitschko in July, Thompson would perhaps be blown away by the Brit many excited fans/experts/pundits are calling the world’s best young heavyweight. Could another 1st-round KO be on the cards for Price? Who would bet against it!
But Price himself says he needs rounds to gain experience, and thus far these rounds have proven to be elusive. Just once has Price been taken past the 6th-round (into the 7th, by Raman Sukhaterin back in October 2010) and the real problem now may be getting the late-rounds experience he feels he is vital. Chisora, if he gets his British licence back, might be capable of extending Price, while arch-rival Fury believes he can beat the man who bested him as an amateur.
For what it’s worth, however, I’d pick Price – as vicious a body puncher as he is a head puncher – to defeat all three men inside the distance. Price, right now, is good enough to defeat any and all of his domestic rivals, as well as any of the world’s top-10 barring the Klitschkos. But in another 12-months, the two brothers could be ready for the taking also. Maloney may be biased, but more and more it’s looking like David Price is indeed the best British heavyweight since the great Lennox Lewis.
Of course, Fury will have something to say about that, and if Tyson can blast out Kevin Johnson tonight the thought of an all-British super-fight between the two unbeaten big men will be even more tantalising!