On Saturday night at the Echo Arena in the great fight city of Liverpool, local hero David Price will make the maiden defence of his Commonwealth and British titles against perennial underachiever Audley Harrison on a packed Championship card.
The bill also sees flyweight prospect and Commonwealth champion Kevin Satchell in a mouth watering crossroads match against British champion and British boxing’s Cinderella man Chris Edwards of Stoke in a battle of youth and experience.
Additionally, Bulwell’s former British Cruiserweight champion Shane McPhilbin will have the opportunity to regain his Lonsdale belt against current English champion Jon Lewis Dickinson and Leeds Light-Welterweight prospect Adil Anwar faces off against the big hitting Dale Miles in a 12 round British Light-Welterweight final eliminator with the winner facing the newly crowned Darren Hamilton.
But it will be Price’s maiden defence of his titles against Audley Harrison in a contest billed by promoter Frank Maloney as the “Battle of the Olympians” that will attract the most attention and headlines come fight night.
In this preview. SaddoBoxing’s British contributor Iain Langmaid runs the rule over the two men.
Age and Physical Equipment:
Price is the younger man at age 29 in comparison to Harrison, who is just shy of his 41st birthday which makes him one the oldest men ever to challenger for the prestigious Lonsdale belt, a title which Harrison has surprisingly never previous challenged for in his 33 fight career to date.
Price is also the taller man, standing 6ft 8 and weighs in usually around 17s tone 6lbs [244 pounds] to 17 stone 10lbs [248 pounds] in comparison to Harrison, who is three inches shorter standing 6ft 5 and has weighed usually between 17stone 9lbs [247 pounds] to 18 stone 2lbs [254lbs] but has weighed in as heavy as 18 and a half stone [259lbs].
Despite having the height and age advantages over Harrison, Price actually has a shorter reach than Harrison, having only an 82 inch wingspan [208cm], while Harrison has a reach of 86 inches [218cm].
Price has also the greater knockout percentage of 84.62% in his 13 fight professional career while Harrison has a knockout percent of 63.21%. However, Harrison may possess an edge in stamina and endurance, having been 12 rounds against Julius Francis back in 2004, Danny Williams in December 2005 for the Commonwealth title, has scored a 12th round come from behind knockout against Michael Sprott for the European title, and has been 10 rounds with Martin Rogan and George Aria.
Price has yet to go beyond the seventh round in his fledging yet much talked about professional career to date.
Advantage: Price takes it on youth, height, knockout percentage while Harrison takes it on reach and stamina. 3-2 to Price.
Price, throughout his much-watched professional career, has displayed a terrific all round ability. Against Sam Sexton, Price stood tall, working off his long powerful left jab and scored effectively to Sexton’s body in order to slow him up and to set up the powerful straight right and right hook.
Sexton was knocked to the canvas twice before he was eventually dispatched for good in the fourth round. Price also shown that can blast out opponents, destroying Horden’s John McDermott in just 73 seconds with three knockdowns.
The more experienced Harrison is a cagey counterpuncher who covers up effectively against his opponent, and has a powerful left hook and very fast hands, which could be an advantage for Harrison against the taller Price.
However, Harrison can be reluctant to put his combinations together for fear or being countered and does not have the natural one punch power that Price possesses.
Advantage: Price on jab, one punch power, body punching and finishing , Harrison on hand speed, defence. 7-4 to Price.
Experience and quality of opposition faced:
In this category, Harrison has the overwhelming advantage of possessing the greater body of work, having turned professional back in 2000 after winning Britain’s first boxing gold medal since Chris Finnegan at Middleweight in 1968.
Harrison had a world title shot against two weight world champion David Haye in November 2010, in which he was stopped in the third round in a gun shy performance. Since 2000, he has faced some of the best British Heavyweights of the last 10 years in the shape of two fights with Danny Williams, going 1-1, and is also 1-1 with Michael Sprott and a 10 round loss to Martin Rogan.
Price’s main stand out opponents have been Sam Sexton, John McDermott and South African heavyweight Osbourne Manchimana in a Commonwealth title eliminator, all of whom Price has knocked out.
Advantage: Harrison. Price 7-5.
While some people thought this contest a joke, on closer examination it is a more appealing trade fight than it first appears, with Harrison having the edge in reach, experience and quality of opposition faced in his stop-start career while Price has the edge in youth, boxing ability and power.
It is without doubt a much tougher fight to predict by anyone interested in the fight game here within the United Kingdom when what both Harrison and Price bring to the table is evaluated and the respect that Price has for Harrison’s abilities.
This writer does not believe that there will be an early knockout in this match up. It is likely that Price will spend the first two to three rounds of this contest trying to establish his jab against the southpaw Harrison, who will [hopefully] be fully motivated for this fight, as it is potentially the very last chance to resurrect a career that had promised so much, but has delivered so little.
Once Price has established his jab, he will then look to step up the pace of the fight in order to tire out and back up the elder Harrison on the ropes, looking to setup his powerful right hook in the mid to late rounds, which is where this writer believes Price will be ultimately victorious against a hopefully gallant Harrison.