British fight fans love a big domestic showdown. Especially when its the heavyweights. We only have to go back to July of this year for evidence of that when 30,000 turned up at Upton Park to watch David Haye demolish ‘arch rival’ Dereck Chisora in 5 rounds of a bout that mightn’t have had the blessing of the British Boxing Board of Control but proved popular nonetheless.
Now before you all think I’ve lost a marble or two, I’m not suggesting for one minute that David Price (14-0 12 KOs), defending his British and Commonwealth Heavyweight titles this coming Saturday against near-pensioner Matt Skelton (28-6 23 KOs) is anything close to a big domestic showdown.
Its likely to be closer to a beat-down than a showdown.
But the fight does have a purpose.
It represents Price’s third defence of his British title and if victorious (small ‘if’) he will have earned the right to keep the prestigious Lonsdale belt, or a copy thereof, forever. Something a few fighters still regard as an honourable achievement in this day and age when belts are all too often vacated in favour of the next biggest payday available.
Price appears to be a man of substance and decency, articulate and clearly possessing of fists which are surely flesh on tungsten-titanium.
In fact, on that latter point it wouldn’t much surprise me if there were old bits of Price locked away at Cyberdine Systems such is the lethal manner in which he has blown through his opposition thus far.
And he clearly has absolute focus on earning that belt before any other objectives are considered.
But feeble Terminator references aside, the big British showdown that the public are demanding is Price against Tyson Fury.
It was Fury that vacated his commonwealth title when Price was installed as the mandatory shot and it’s been Fury who has made some quite outrageous comments live on British television about Price and via his Twitter account.
Its a fight that is brewing. Of course, fans want it now. Fury is being angled into position for a shot at one of the two Klitschko’s and with ongoing challenges around TV network conflicts its one that will probably need a little more time in the oven.
Price will continue to incrementally build, perhaps with Chisora after Skelton, while waiting for Fury to come back from what could be a rapid ascent to the dizzy heights, with or without a belt.
Depending on Vitali’s next move, Fury could find himself in pole position for a shot at a vacant WBC title given that his next fight against one time failed world title challenger and more recently losing Prizefighter finalist, Kevin Johnson is being billed as an eliminator.
Or he could just get demolished by Wladimir who will punish his leaky defence.
But ever the optimist, Fury versus Price for the WBC title. Now THAT’s a domestic showdown!
Expect Price to dust Skelton in the first half of the fight which takes place at the Aintree Equestrian Centre in Price’s native Liverpool.
The undercard merits no mention. Price is promoter Frank Maloney’s only marketable fighter and probably represents his last throw of the dice to regain the glory achieved with his former charge, Lennox Lewis.
So, Price by brutal KO.
He’ll be back!