Price the Tiger tamer

  • By: Derek Bilton
  • Last Updated: February 23 2013, 23:19 GMT

Our boxing tipster Derek Bilton is backing British heavyweight hope David Price to do a job on Tony Thompson this weekend.

David Price: Racking up the stoppage wins
David Price: Racking up the stoppage wins

Tony Thompson has ruffled a few feathers in the UK since flying in for his fight with David Price this weekend.

The 41-year-old admitted he is drinking in the "last-chance saloon" earlier in the week and then claimed on radio that boxers should be allowed to use performance-enhancing drugs!

"I think they should allow doping, period, because for me it's like the gun law," he boomed on BBC 5live. "Only the good guys are listening. It leaves the good guys without the guns."

Boxing, once described as 'the red light district of sports', can really do without such comments but I am confident that on Saturday night, at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, the fans and the media will be talking about one man. And it won't be Thompson.

For in Price Britain surely has its next great hope for a heavyweight champion.

The 29-year-old behemoth has won 15 fights since turning pro and such is his hitting power he has yet to go beyond the seventh round.

The British and Commonwealth boss blasted out Audley Harrison in a round last year and last time out took the normally durable Matt Skelton apart within two sessions.

A ferocious hitter, Price also moves fairly well for a man of such dimensions (he is 6ft 8in in just his socks) and he is a well-schooled fighter having boxed for Great Britain in the 2008 Olympics (snaring a bronze).

Level-headed and introspective, Price is the antithesis of his big domestic rival Tyson Fury. Both unbeaten pugilists have traded media barbs in recent months, but sadly it looks like Fury is going one way and Price another. A fight between the pair would fill out a football stadium over here, but alas the politics of boxing look like robbing the fans of another massive spectacle. For the time being at least.

So it's Thompson this weekend, an American who has twice boxed Wladimir Klitschko. In 2008 Wlad stopped him in 11 rounds and then in the summer of last year he was battered in six sessions by Dr Steelhammer.

Thompson has beaten some decent names in Luan Krasniqi and Chazz Witherspoon in compiling a steady 36-3 record, but having not boxed since that shellacking at the hands of Klitschko last year I wonder just how ambitious he is these days.

He has admitted that going back to six-round fights deep in the undercard bowels of stacked US bills does not interest him, and should he fold here I am pretty confident he will call it a day.

'The Tiger' is a southpaw who has adequate power, but if he elects to stand and trade with Price he could be in for a rude awakening.

The Scouser is on a fine run of stoppage wins and I think 11/8 quotes about him winning this before the midpoint of round four have to be worth considering. Price will find his range in the early going but if the opportunity presents itself, as it did against Harrison, he won't be shy about pulling the trigger.

Thompson caused a media storm with his mouth in the run up to this one, but my money is on 'Big Pricey' to shut it pretty quickly when the action begins and leave his American foe flat on his back amid joyous scenes on Merseyside.

Wary of Price's punching power, I'll also take a small slice of the 16/1 on offer about a victory inside 60 seconds.

  • Preview posted at 1325 GMT on 21/02/2013.