This coming Saturday, February 23 at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, British Commonwealth champion David Price will find out if he can increase his heavyweight value enough to secure a title shot when he takes on long time American contender, Tony The Tiger Thompson.
It’s a crossroads fight between the young lion in ascendancy and the wily old veteran looking to stay relevant with a return to Ring rankings. Thompson is following in a long line of Americans imported to the British Isles to strengthen the breeding of local heavyweight hopefuls. No belt appears on the line although it is a 12 rounder as befits the aspirations of the two fighters.
Thompson is coming off a major knockout loss to the dominant champion Wladimir Klitschko. Thompson was never able to recover the strength in his shaky legs after the first few Klitschko blasts, and was soon was hitting the canvas often enough that the ref had no choice but to pull the plug. The 6-8 David Price is undefeated at 14-0, 13 KO with the size, strength, and punching power to reprise that fight for Thompson, but it remains to be seen if he has enough ring development and nuance to land such devastating punches as Wladimir is able.
By rankings and experience, Thompson represents the best fighter Price will have faced, and he’s a long, lean, 6-5 southpaw with plenty of power to trouble any fighter he lands his big punch on. Price should be the betting favorite, yet on paper the fight is competitive enough to represent a danger that Price’s has yet to face, a fighter who could seriously knock him out. The Thompson record is 36-3, 24 KO, almost triple the ring experience of Price, but Thompson is also a grizzled 41 years old to Price’s prime age of 29 years, off-setting strengths and vulnerabilities that make for a potentially exciting fight.
No David Price fight is replete without the mention of his more highly ranked and younger domestic rival, the forever tweeting but never meeting Tyson Fury. Price and his promoter have long been engaged in promotional one upmanship with team Fury, trying to take their domestic spat to the ring where it properly belongs. If Price does beat Thompson as expected, could be the moneytree finally bears enough fruit to make that fight happen. The promoters and networks that the fighters are contractually bound need to iron out their own business rivalries, the big elephant in the room holding the big monkey wrench that typically kills these types of fights. See Manny Pacquiao vs Floyd Mayweather Jr for how that works.
The Test is Pass/Fail, so we will see soon enough who passes and who fails.