As Sam Sexton was sent crashing to the canvas on Saturday night in Liverpool it was clear that a true heavyweight contender had emerged. David Price has all the physical attributes and at Aintree racecourse he proved he is the thoroughbred that can genuinely challenge the dominance of the Klitschko brothers.
It has been nearly four years since Price claimed bronze at the Beijing Olympics and immediately announced his decision to turn professional. As London 2012 approaches it seems that his apprenticeship has ended, now is the time to make a mark on the world stage.
The performance in his hometown against the usually durable Sexton showed why he is ready to move up in class. The left hand was always in the face of the Norwich fighter. It was no range finder, more a constant threat that at any time it could fire through the guard and inflict serious damage.
Sexton was forced into a defensive mode and could find no answer to the conundrum Price was presenting. With the jab working to perfection, the devastating power possessed in his right hand was then there for all to see.
An array of hooks, straight and uppercuts were enough to cause the damage. Combined with teasing half steps back to get out of range, it became a showpiece of the skills Price possesses. Sexton applauded the first two knockdowns but by the third the only standing ovation came from the crowd as he lay motionless on the canvas.
“I'm ready to move on and challenge the best out there,” Price revealed after the fight. “I've got to take my time, but making a statement like that, I'm going to have to move forward again.”
It was a statement that will certainly have registered with the two Klitschkos. They have both sparred with the Brit and may want to get him in the ring as early as possible before he has a chance to further hone his talent.
It also put the sport back in a positive light after the debacle surrounding two other British heavyweight fighters. Neither David Haye - a natural cruiserweight - or Dereck Chisora compare physically with Price and there is now some debate as to whether they could compete with him in the ring.
With Frank Maloney – the man that guided Lennox Lewis to becoming the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world – at the helm there is little doubt that Price will be receiving the right advice and will not rush into a match-up with either of the Ukrainian giants.
He still needs to be put on the back foot and have his chin tested but should he feel he deserves a world title opportunity then Alexander Povetkin, the WBA champion, could well be an option.
Another Dark Day as Berto Tests Positive
What a shame to hear that another fighter has tested positive for a banned substance and what a fighter he is. Andre Berto has always given everything in the ring and his first contest against Victor Ortiz was one of the fights of the year.
Now we have been robbed of the opportunity to see the rematch and I just hope that they discover an alternative reason for the tests coming back positive.
Boxing needs to follow the example of so many other sports in making these tests mandatory. Floyd Mayweather may have been one of the first to vocalize this notion but I’m sure Victor Ortiz and Amir Khan will also now agree.