Next up for British heavyweight champion David Price is a bout with Audley Harrison at Liverpool's Echo Arena on October 13, 2012.
Harrison and Matt Skelton were the front runners for Price’s voluntary defence of his British title belt. Both Harrison and Skelton have had knockout victories in their last outings, with Harrison stopping Ali Adams in four rounds and Skelton winning his last two fights by knockout; Tom Dallas in five and Ladislav Kovarik in three rounds.
This gave Price incentive to fight one of these former European champions to build experience and put one of their names on his record.
Harrison was the first choice of Price and this is ultimately who got the shot. As we have heard before, Harrison is officially in the best shape possible for this fight, as he has recovered from the Pectoral injury that he had against David Haye and this was his main reasoning for the poor performance.
Harrison looked to have been in form against Ali Adams as he found his range and got Adams out of there, which does show that Harrison does have power at this level.
Harrison firmly believes that he is going to beat Price this time round, and Price certainly is not underestimating the capabilities of Harrison. Price has said that he greatly respects Harrison and believes that Audley has been on the wrong end of a lot of criticism throughout his career.
Price has learned a lot throughout his career from Harrison. In the past, Price received useful advice from him before he went off to Beijing for the Olympics. Price has also learned a lot from Harrison on how not to manage your professional career.
Harrison has made a lot of mistakes and that’s why he never achieved the potential that he could have reached, which is a shame because way back in 2000 when he won the Gold medal, he had all the tools to be a world champion.
But set back after set back prevented that ambition. He is now 40 years old and has not achieved what he has always promised to the British public, a world title.
Price certainly will not make those mistakes as he looks to use Harrison as another step toward earning a title shot in the not too distant future.
Price does have to take care of business in Liverpool though, and in front of his home fans; there is no messing around when you are taking on Harrison. He might have lost in the past, but he is still dangerous as we have seen in some of his fights.
I personally thought the stoppage of Michael Sprott was an amazing turn around, and it showed that even though Harrison was losing badly, he can still pull it out of the bag. I was impressed with Harrison against Coleman Barrett and it again it showed that Harrison can bang when he needs to.
Price knows this though, and he knows that he has to take Harrison seriously and I am more than confident Price will do just that. He is very professional and has looked so impressive in his fights so far. His most recent fight against Sam Sexton has shown that Price is a level above any heavyweight in Britain right now on the domestic scene.
Price needs a big performance against Harrison so he can move onto bigger and better things. I think Price is a future world champion in the making as long as he stays focused and fights a bit more often. I think that is not entirely his fault, but now that he knows where he stands in terms of television exposure, he should do fine.
I would like to see him more active from now on. I think he will knock out Harrison within four rounds. After the Haye performance, I don’t give Harrison much chance against Price as Price is such a big puncher, maybe even bigger than Haye due to his size.
As soon as Price establishes his jab and lands that right hand, I just don’t see how Harrison is going to be able to take that for long at all. Price will have to start quick and not let Harrison get into any rhythm and that should be the end of it.
After this fight Price is rumoured to be facing Michael Grant in Cape Town, South Africa in February, 2013 for Nelson Mandela’s boxing tribute event. Although this fight is not confirmed yet, and it still quite a while away, I think it would be decent exposure for Price to see where he stands past domestic level.
Grant has been in there with many great fighters, and this certainly would be great experience for Price. Grant recently gave Tomasz Adamek, who I consider one of the best heavyweights in the world, a great challenge, so it shows that Grant won’t be a pushover.
I do not know if this bout is going to happen, but if it does I am sure Price would have to look good against Grant because it wouldn’t be an easy contest but it would move him closer to fighting on the world level scene.
If this match-up does actually happen, I think Price should take fight again in the UK before facing Grant. Price certainly does need activity and more exposure, But I believe the success of BoxNation and him being involved in it would help Price in building a solid foundation towards being a heavyweight champion.
I am certainly enjoying Price’s progression so far and I am looking forward to seeing him put on a strong performance against Harrison.