By Michael Collins: British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion David Price (15-0, 13 KO’s) figures he’ll capture the EBU heavyweight title and fight in a world heavyweight title eliminator bout by the end of 2013. Price has been matched against older heavyweights instead of fighters that could test him and possibly even beat him.
Price has fought two mismatches in his last two fights against 40-year-old Audley Harrison and 45-year-old Matt Skelton. As one would expect, Price knocked out Harrison in one round and Skelton in two. Despite these terrible mismatches that really did nothing for Price other than wasting his last two fights of the year, Price says these fights are really helping him.
Harrison looked frozen against Price, and landed one feeble punch before Price knocked him out. Skelton threw a few slaps in both the 1st and 2nd rounds before getting knocked out. These weren’t guys that could test Price’s chin, and there are some boxing fans who feel that Price’s chin is his problem, as he had problems in the amateur ranks when fighting guys that can punch.
Price is now fighting 41-year-old Tony Thompson (36-3, 24 KO’s) on February 23rd at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, England. Thompson was knocked out in the 6th round in his last fight by IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion last July in a fight where Thompson threw almost no punches. Thompson didn’t look like the same fighter he was four years ago when he last fought Wladimir, as he’s really slowed down since then and his offense was nonexistent.
Price’s boxing fans think it’s a good fight for Price to take on Thompson because he was just in the ring with Wladimir, and they believe that if Thompson was good enough to fight Wladimir then he should be a worthy opponent for Price. Personally, I don’t care for the idea of fighters taking on guys that were just knocked out in their last fight, especially when they looked as bad as Thompson did.
There are a lot of other heavyweights in the division that would arguably give Price a better test than Thompson did, but then again there would be some danger for Price if he were to fight some of the top level contenders.
Technically, Thompson is still a top level contender his #10 ranking by the International Boxing Federation but I don’t agree with that ranking. I see Thompson now as a 2nd tier fighter.
If Price really does fight for the EBU heavyweight title in 2013, then I see him losing that fight because the current champion is Kubrat Pulev, and I believe he’s a better fighter than Price. I think he would knock Price out. I’d very surprised if Price’s promoter Frank Maloney allows him to fight Pulev because that’s too big of a jump from facing Harrison (40), Skelton (45) and Thompson (41).