Last night at the Aintree Equestrian Centre in Liverpool, England, rising star David Price showed why he is one of the most talked about boxers in British boxing if not the most talked about on the British scene.
Price mounted a dominant display against Norwich’s former Commonwealth Champion Sam Sexton to win the vacant British and Commonwealth Heavyweight titles, which saw him become the first heavyweight from the great fight city of Liverpool to capture the prestigious Lonsdale belt.
Price went into the fight with a four and a half inch height advantage, six inch reach advantage and 17 pound weight advantage against Sexton and showed his superior class with a commanding performance.
Throughout the fight, Price paced himself effectively, working off the jab to keep Sexton at long range and restricting his opponent to brief forays on the inside before being either tied up or Price stepping back to continue to dictate the fight.
In the opening two rounds, Price was in control, effectively working off his jab and doubling it up, varying the power to keep Sexton at range.
In the third round Price, stepped up the pace forcing Sexton onto the back foot and dropping him a left hook to the head, which forced Sexton to take his first count of the fight.
Sexton rose early and applauded Price for dropping him, however the knock down came too late in the round for Price to fully capitalise upon.
In the fourth and what proved to be the final round of the fight, Price stepped up the tempo, backing up Sexton effectively and setting upon Sexton with body shots before dropping his rival for the second time.
By then Sexton’s gallant title challenge seemed to be almost on borrowed time as Price unloaded a devastating right hook to the head with 30 seconds of the round left . Sexton, flat on his back, had no chance whatsoever of beating referee Howard Foster’s count.
The ease and dominance of Price’s victory against Sexton, a former Commonwealth and Prizefighter Champion, came as a surprise to many, as most felt that Sexton, a former amateur team mate of Price, had the speed and superior experience at Championship level to give Price a test.
Instead, it proved to be Price’s amateur experience that showed through as he paced the fight perfectly. worked all of his combinations off a strong and accurate left jab and switched well between Sexton’s head and body, and did not go chasing the knockout.
Instead, the towering Scouser broke down the defence and will of a game Sexton to secure the stoppage win.
So what is next for Liverpool’s new British champion? By his own admission, and by many educated ring observers, he is not ready for an attempt to break the Klitschko monopoly on the heavyweight division, although Price has been mentioned as an opponent of interest by both brothers.
Price's main priority at this point should be to establish himself as the best heavyweight in the country. However, this may provide considerably obstacles.
At the moment, the top ranked British Heavyweight is former two-weight World Champion David Haye. While Haye would be a marquee name on Price’s record, his involvement in the brawl with Derek Chisora, following the latter’s fight against Vitali Klitschko, could scupper any potential bout along with whatever financial demands Haye may make.
Chisora, ranked number three, is scheduled to fight Haye but that contest could be scuppered due to the strong opposition of the British Board.
At number two on the list is Tyson Fury, whom Price defeated in the amateurs. While a bout between these two men would generate considerable interest here in the UK, it is likely that it may not happen for the foreseeable future due Fury’s television deal with Channel 5.
Which is likely to leave Bedford’s Matt Skelton, a former British and European champion, and Sheffield’s unbeaten giant Richard Towers as likely targets for Price.
Despite these potential problems against future opponents for Price on the domestic scene, it cannot be denied that he is clearly the best Heavyweight that this country has produced since Lennox Lewis and it is almost certain that in the post-Klitchsko landscape he will be a major force on the World Heavyweight stage.