This Saturday another heavyweight hopeful from the UK steps up in class to test his credentials. David Price, from Liverpool, is looking to confirm the promise that accompanied his super-heavy bronze medal at the Beijing Olympics.
On face value Price, 11-0, 9 KO’s, has all the attributes to go far in the game – he’s 6 feet 9 inches tall, has amateur pedigree, and has already demonstrated a pretty fearsome dig early in his professional career. If doubts remain they chiefly concern the big man’s chin, which was exposed on occasion in the unpaid ranks, and will surely be tested at some point as Price moves through the heavyweight ranks.
On Saturday he fights at home against the very capable Londoner John McDermott when they contest the English heavyweight title. McDermott, 26-7, 17 KO’s, has come to be known in the UK as a perennial challenger, having failed in three assaults on the British heavyweight title, but the statistics don’t tell the whole story. Two of those defeats were by split decision to champion Danny Williams in 2008 and 2009 when many at ringside felt McDermott had done enough to win, and then in September 2009 big John dropped a highly contentious decision to young Tyson Fury. Sure, Fury stropped him in nine in the rematch, but across the lost verdicts McDermott did an awful lot to suggest he’s a better fighter than his slate suggests. He confirmed this when, in his last outing in February 2011, he blasted out much-fancied Larry Olubawimo in less than three minutes.
Since then Price and McDermott have been thwarted in their efforts to see this fight through, with two cancellations in 2011 rendering them both less active than they would have liked. Price hasn’t boxed since last July, when he accepted a fight with fellow undefeated aspirant Tom Dallas after McDermott had to withdraw. The Dallas fight was thought to be a risky affair for Price, but in the event he made it an early night’s work by pole-axing Dallas in the second round.
It’s that kind of power that should see Price prevail over McDermott. Big John will be giving away some six inches in height to David, who will also be stronger, quicker and better conditioned. McDermott has been plagued in his career by fitness problems, and usually comes to the ring looking like he’s not done a day’s exercise, so he may find it difficult to live with his younger and more persistent rival. Price, however, is taking nothing for granted:
“A few heavyweights appear to be out of shape but are in good condition and John McDermott is one of them. He might look out of shape but I guarantee he will be able to go 10 rounds, as long as he doesn’t get knocked out,” He said.
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