Thompson 'perfect' for Price
David Price believes victory over Tony Thompson next month will catapult him to the next level.
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The British heavyweight champion takes on his first international foe of note in the American, who lost to Wladimir Klitschko in his last fight in July.
Price has been moved steadily up the ranks by promoter Frank Maloney but 2013 is the year the Liverpudlian could become a world title contender, and beating 41-year-old Thompson is a big leap in the right direction.
"It's a big fight. He's a world class fighter. If that's not a test I don't know what is," said the 6ft 8in Price. "It will be judged after the fight whether it was a test by how I deal with him. It's an exciting fight.
"It's two levels above the level I've been fighting. It's up to me to raise my game, which I think I will obviously. I think I proved I'm above domestic level and I think it's time I prove I belong at this one.
"The opponents I fight in the first half of this year will shape the future of my career so they need to be the right opponents that are going to develop me, test me, and I think Tony Thompson is the perfect start.
"If we get the next three opponents spot on, and I can do a job on them, then I'll be ready.
"I've got different qualities to Wladimir Klitschko that he didn't show against Tony Thompson and I believe I will. I'll take any kind of win but I've got to keep a level head and concentrate on what's in front of me, and that's Tony Thompson."