By Geoff Poundes
The British heavyweight title found it’s way into the hands of Liverpudlian David Price tonight, when the not-so-gentle giant dispatched the ever-willing Sam Sexton in the fourth round of their title contest at the Aintree Equestrian Centre in Liverpool.
The famous old belt is in good hands. Price, a bronze medalist at the Beijing Olympics four years ago, notched his thirteenth win, and eleventh stoppage, and has yet to taste defeat as a professional. Sexton, 15-3, 6 KO’s, promised to be his sternest test yet, but as the fight unfolded it was clear that Price’s long-range skills and significant physical advantages were simply too much for the Norwich man to handle.
The contest started predictably – Price working behind an educated jab, and Sexton simply eating leather, content to try and draw Price into the later rounds. The same pattern characterised the second and third round, but Sexton began to step things up with some sporadic combinations, which failed to put Price out of his stride. As the third round drew to a close, Price lobbed over a right hand that caught Sexton high behind the ear, and Sam went over. He was up at eight, and clapped his gloves together in acknowledgement of Price’s quality shot, but the bell rang before the local man could follow up.
At the bell for the fourth Sexton still looked fresh and up for a fight, but it was painfully obvious that the few punches he was throwing were ineffectual, and Price continued to cuff him with right hands. A minute in, Price buckled Sexton’s knees, and then stepped in with a right uppercut which dropped Sexton again along the ropes. Sexton was up at six, and again demonstrated a clear head by clapping his opponent. When they re-engaged, however, Price would not be denied, and he maneuvered his man around the ring, they clinched, and a short right hook dumped Sexton on his back. There was no applause this time from the stricken fighter, and referee Howard Foster waved the fight off without counting.
Afterwards, the pundits were beside themselves with praise for the 6 feet 8 inch Price, and the Klitschko’s will have taken notice of this win. Sexton had only been dropped once in his career before this, and was expected to at least extend David into the second half of the fight, so Price’s display should propel him on to the European scene, if not into the world title picture, given the paucity of talent at the top of the heavyweight division these days. Price, his Lonsdale Belt wrapped tightly round his waist, believes he has plenty of time:
“This was the first target” he said. “That’s done. I boxed the perfect fight –he didn’t lay a glove on me. I’m glad this fight went a bit longer so people could see the variation in my work. I’m ready to move on and challenge the best, having made that statement. I believe it’s my destiny to win a world title, but I’m not the finished article yet. This is the end of the beginning.”
Price’s promoter, the mercurial Frank Maloney, who was the man behind Lennox Lewis a few years ago, believes he’s unearthed a similar diamond, and rated Price’s performance highly: “Ten out of ten – that’s the best jab I’ve seen in a British ring since Lennox Lewis. We’re in no rush, but when he fights for a world title he’ll bring the belt back to Liverpool.”
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