Price the pick to come again

  • Last Updated: February 26 2013, 8:31 GMT

Our boxing expert Derek Bilton presents his latest British top 10 pound-for-pound list after a forgettable night for David Price.

David Price: Slips to ninth, but fancied to rise again
David Price: Slips to ninth, but fancied to rise again

In heavyweight boxing, it only takes one punch.

David Price proved the old adage correct in Liverpool at the weekend after he was undone by 41-year-old American trial horse Tony Thompson.

Price had bossed the opening session and looked in control in the second before dropping his guard and being caught with an innocuous shot round the back of the ear by 'The Tiger'.

It was a damaging shot that wreaked havoc, however. Price folded and though he bravely beat the count his legs were all over the place and the fight was waved off at a stunned and (almost) silent Echo Arena.

Victory against Thompson was expected (Price was a 1/20 shot in the betting with some firms) but the veteran went for broke and was rewarded.

So what does this defeat mean for the career of the big fella from Liverpool? Well his stock has plummeted without a doubt (from a PR perspective anyway) and he can expect a few quid less for his next outing in the pro ring.

There will be endless questions now about his chin and how he would cope in a genuine 50-50 fight against a banger (Thompson was not a noted puncher).

However I still feel Price can come again and remain convinced that he will box for world honours at some point in the next two years.

The way he has demolished men like Matt Skelton, Audley Harrison and Sam Sexton tell us all we need to know about his power.

After Saturday he will be regarded as a dangerous if vulnerable heavyweight in the same way Frank Bruno was after he was pole-axed by James 'Bonecrusher' Smith in the early 1980s.

Bruno's career was a lesson in persistence and I think Price is made of the same type of stuff.

He won't spew it after just one professional loss. As he pointed out on the night it wasn't as if he was out-classed or bashed up by Thompson. He walked onto one and the rest, as they say, is history.

The great tragedy of Saturday's defeat is that now some of the lustre has gone off a potential showdown between big Dave and Tyson Fury now.

Team Price offered to box Fury last year but the Manchester traveller was determined to walk a different path.

Privately he might now wish he had accepted Price's offer to dance but my gut feeling is the pair will meet within the next 18 months.

I still see Price winning that one but I'm not as convinced as I once was and it would be a fascinating fight for boxing.

One domestic 'pound-for-pound' star who did manage to shine recently was Carl Frampton, the unbeaten Irishman who came through his toughest test to date as he stopped Kiko Martinez amid delirious scenes in Belfast.

It was a fantastically accomplished display by 'The Jackal' who, guided by father and son team Barry and Shane McGuigan, boxed to orders in front of another packed house at the Odyssey Arena.

Frampton had to dig deep at times but was always in control against Martinez, who had promised a KO win at a heated weigh-in the day before the fight.

It was a perfectly-timed short right down the pipe that did the damage in round nine, and although Martinez gamely tried to rise the stoppage was right and true.

Following hot on the heels of his fine win over former Canadian IBF super-bantamweight champion Steve Molitor, this win gives 'The Jackal' legitimate leverage on the world stage now.

A fight against fellow unbeaten 'pound-for-pound' slugger Scott Quigg looks a natural, and may well happen this year judging by McGuigan's Snr's reaction following the conclusion of the fight.

If they do meet I have it as a genuine 50-50 job, but if it happens this year I am slightly leaning towards Quigg, who looks a natural-born fighter with a fantastically vicious repertoire.

However the problem the Bury man has is activity. He was last seen putting in a career-best shift in halting Rendal Munroe in Manchester.

However that was back in November and at time of writing the 25-0-1 (18) North West starlet doesn't have another fight lined up. He is tied to Hatton Promotions, who are currently without a TV deal meaning opportunities are currently few and far between for the British super-bantamweight boss.

Frampton v Quigg would be an enormous fight and I am convinced both men would make more money now by boxing each other than they would by waiting to box for a genuine world title later on.

With men like Nonito Donaire, Abner Mares and Guillermo Rigondeaux at the top of the tree at 118 pounds the division looks stacked too so why waste time waiting for one of those men to move up a division or 'grow old' when the pair can take care of domestic business this year.

At 26 and 24 respectively, time is on Frampton and Quigg's side too and the loser of any bout between the dynamic duo would definitely have time to come again.

Sportinglife.com pound-for-pound British top 10:

1 Carl Froch
2 David Haye
3 Kell Brook
4 Amir Khan
5 Ricky Burns
6 Nathan Cleverly
7 Scott Quigg
8 Carl Frampton
9 David Price
10 Tyson Fury

Honourable mentions: Gavin Rees, Matt Macklin, George Groves, Martin Murray and Tony Bellew.


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