With the British boxing scene digesting the recent addition of David Price as latest the holder of the prestigious Lonsdale belt following his four round demolition of Norwich’s former Commonwealth champion Sam Sexton, the talk surrounding Price, is quite simply - who's next?
The talk is justified as newspaper reports here in the United Kingdom have suggested that the Heavyweight champion of the world, Wladimir Klitschko, is in interested in fighting the 6ft 8inch Scouser should Klitschko get past his mandatory challenger Tony Thompson in a rematch of their 2008 fight which saw Klitschko despatch the American southpaw in 11 rounds.
This knockout saw the younger Klitschko retain his IBF, IBO and WBO world titles.
It is understandable that Klitschko would be interested in fighting a giant heavyweight in Price, who, like him is as a former Olympian who has had regularly provided sparring for opponents for both Wladimir and his elder brother Vitali.
It is important to recognise that Price is still fairly untested at British level having dispatched stablemate Tom Dallas in a British and Commonwealth eliminator in just two rounds, and three time British heavyweight title challenger John McDermott in just one round to get his shot at Sexton for the vacant British and Commonwealth Heavyweight titles.
This writer very much doubts that Price is ready to make the considerable leap over the chasm from the British to world level. Secondly, should the younger Klitschko dispatch Thompson, it is rumoured that Wladimir is be going stateside to fight the American Chris Arreola, which puts paid to this rumour.
On the British scene, there are plenty of options for Price. A natural option would have been Tyson Fury, the former holder of the belts that are now in Price’s possession. Once Price had dispatched McDermott in just one round to be installed as mandatory challenger, Hennessy’s camp was reported to have made Price an offer of £100,000 to face Fury in a potentially mouth-watering fight.
However, it was reported that Price’s promoter Frank Maloney turned the offer down, leaving Fury with no option but to vacate his titles and face accusations of ducking Price.
This writer believes that this matchup will happen at some point in the future but not just yet, as Fury is looking to try and break onto the European stage and fight men like Kubrat Pulev, the European Heavyweight title holder, or former champ Alexander Dimitrenko while Price is still at British and Commonwealth level at the moment.
But this writer does think a fight between these two former amateur rivals will happen with perhaps a world title on the line in the foreseeable future.
Other domestic competition that Price could face could be either David Haye, the former undisputed Cruiserweight Champion and WBA Heavyweight Champion and Derek Chisora, who lost his British and Commonwealth titles.
While Haye would be a big name on Price’s resume and would generate considerable interest, it is doubtful that Haye would fight him through a combination of licensing difficulties with the Board of Control following Haye's decision to fight Chisora and huge purse demands that could potentially sink the pairing.
As for Chisora, the licensing issues would pose a problem to making a Price fight happen, but it would be a clash that would generate considerable interest as Chisora would look to show that he is still a relevant force on the British and European scene should he lose to Haye at Upton Park on 14th July.
Another possible target for Price on the British scene could be Richard Towers, the big hitting Sheffield fighter who recently won the EU Heavyweight title with a knockout win over Frenchman Gregory Toney at the Manchester Velodrome. However, former EU champion Francesco Pianeta has been installed as mandatory challenger for Towers’ newly acquired title.
Another former champion on Price's agenda could be Matt Skelton, fresh with two knockout wins following a spell in Her Majesty’s prison for motoring offences.
At Commonwealth level, the Canadian Bermaine Stiverne, who is currently 22-1-1 with 20 knockouts, could provide an interesting test and tough Neven Pajikic, who dropped Fury for the first time in his career, could another possible candidate to face off against Price.
Alex Leapai, the big hitting Australian, could another candidate although he coming off a loss against Kevin Johnson, the American former world title challenger. Also Carlos Takem, from Cameroon, the WBO Africa champion, could be another man that they could consider as well.
It shall be interesting to see what will happen next for Price as it can be argued that time is against him at 28 years old and having had his development as a professional slowed by injury and promotional timetables.
Iain Langmaid can be contacted on:
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