David Price has sent a warning to the rest of the heavyweight division by revealing that he plans to be fighting for a world title by the beginning of 2014. The level-headed Liverpudlian revealed that he had set a target that by his 20th bout he would be attempting to land a world title belt.
The lack of challengers for the Klitschko brothers has led to many suggesting that Price is the heir to the throne. However, he is under no illusions that there is still a long road ahead as he plots his path to becoming the heavyweight champion of the world.
“I’m hoping to announce a fight in October, which should be really exciting, then I plan on having another in December and maybe four more next year. By the end of that year I want to be 19-0 as I set myself the target of fighting for the heavyweight title in my 20th bout,” revealed the man who destroyed Sam Sexton is his last bout to become the British champion.
“I gave myself that target after sparring Odlanier Solis who was preparing for Vitali Klitschko in his 20th fight. When I was in the ring there where points when I was getting the better of him and I realised that I could do the same and that was a real eye-opener.”
Working with Solis and sparring with the likes of former WBA champion David Haye gives Price the confidence that is building with every fight. His demolition of Sam Sexton was a near perfect display as he boxed behind a ramrod jab and carefully dissected his opponent.
Price admits it was his most impressive performance to date but he feels as though he has been tested more in sparring than he was by the former British champion.
“I’ve been having good sparring in Europe, and no disrespect to Sam Sexton, but that was with guys at a better level than himself. I took the fight away from him by taking the centre of the ring and I didn’t give him an inch. It went to plan so it was a satisfying victory.”
Fortunately for Price the heavyweight division is currently ruled by European fighters and his relationship with a promoter in Germany allows him to find world class sparring partners a mere three hour flight away. Nevertheless, he is acutely aware that there will come an occasion when he will be viewed as a genuine threat to their title ambitions.
“I am learning with top quality sparring but there is going to be a point where I won’t get the opportunities as I will be a potential opponent for them,” admits Price who seems well aware of the reputation he is building on the vast heavyweight landscape.
Price was once viewed by Haye as a man that could replicate the Klitschko style, but how long will it be before he is mentioned in the same breath as the all-conquering Ukrainian brothers?
Wladimir and Vitali have already silenced Haye and Dereck Chisora over 12 rounds and the duo’s distain for the Englishmen means they are unlikely to earn another opportunity. There has been talk of Tyson Fury possibly earning a shot at the younger brother, but Price is confident that when his time comes, he will be more than just physically stack up in the ring.
“Vitali looks like he’s retiring but I don’t think Wladimir is going to go anywhere in a hurry as he is going to want to win the WBC belt as well. He seems to be getting better with age and I think he’ll be about for another two or three years. But I’m not waiting until they’ve left the scene as I think I’ll be ready to fight them in 18 months or two years.
“Wladimir is a brilliant athlete. Physically he is in superb shape and you can see just how good he is as with his footwork, movement and punch power. But that is against shorter opponents and would he be able to do that against a bigger opponent who could punch?” poses Price, before answering his own question with an air of confidence.
“He hardly ever gets hit by these smaller guys so I believe I would land more punches than his last three opponents have managed in total. You don’t know till you’re in there but I want to be ready to beat him when I do fight him.”
With Frank Maloney, the man who led Lennox Lewis to global domination, carefully guiding the career of Price, it is certain that the duo will only choose to fight at world level once they feel ready. In the meantime there is a need to remain busy and gradually increase the level of opponent.
One fighter who is still on the radar of Price is fellow British heavyweight Tyson Fury. The much talked about heavyweight vacated his British and Commonwealth titles when the former Olympian was the mandatory challenger.
It is a fight that would generate plenty of interest amongst boxing fans. The two are similar in stature and when two behemoths collide inside the ring there is always the threat of a brutal knockout. This is something that Price has specialised in throughout his professional career, with 11 stoppages in his 13 contests.
With Sky no longer showing fights promoted by Frank Maloney there is a need for another channel to back the potential title contender. Fury is gaining a following through his exploits on terrestrial television and Price admits he is still interested in settling his score with the Lancaster-based heavyweight.
“I saw his fight against Rogan and it was like a glorified spar. But I don’t know what to make of him to be honest. The one thing I will say is that he is young for a heavyweight and he has achieved a lot for a young man so I’ll give him a lot of respect for that. I just don’t believe he’s in my league.
“It’s a fight I’d take and one that we have enquired about since to be honest. Frank made contact but they’re not interested at the moment. It’s not completely off the radar as it’s a fight that people want to see and I would like to prove a point as it’s a fight that would excite a lot of people.”
It is clear that Price has the brains to go along with his considerable brawn. He will not rush into a contest without proper preparation and it is clear he has already scheduled his path to ultimate success.
A thinking heavyweight with undoubted skill is a daunting combination. Come his 20th fight he could well be celebrating the culmination of a life dedicated to the sport. Wladimir, you have been warned.
David Price is sponsored by Lonsdale, the boxing champion's choice for clothing & equipment for over 50 years. www.lonsdale.com