Love it or hate it, heavyweight boxing makes or breaks the sport. American fight fans might be dismayed over the lack of burgeoning heavyweight talent on the home front (Seth Mitchell notwithstanding), but the division is alive and well internationally.
Beyond the obvious case of the Klitschko brothers, who have enjoyed a historic stranglehold on the division for what seems like a decade (in reality it’s been about eight years), international fans of boxing’s glory division have also been treated recently to a number of up-and-comers.
Fighters from across the pond, like Tyson Fury and Mike Perez, are filling fight fans full of hope, and David Price (12-0, 10 KOs) just might be in pole position in the race for most likely to become world champion.
Price is a six-foot, eight-inch monster with a killer jab and serious power in his right hand. He fights clean and hard, and so far he seems eager to use his size the way fight fans expect. Price makes his opponents come to him, and when they do he unloads on them with heavy-handed combinations. He’s not as polished or fluid as Wladimir Klitschko, and he’s yet to prove his toughness the way Vitali has, but he’s definitely on the shortlist of people who could someday conceivably defeat either of the brothers (or at the very least succeed them as champion when they retire).
Price shared the super heavyweight bronze medal in the 2008 Olympics with fellow heavyweight hopeful Deontay Wilder from the United States. Like Wilder, Price has been brought along slowly as he’s transitioned from the amateur ranks to professional pugilism. Unlike Wilder, Price’s progression has been measureable enough to keep fight fans both interested and excited about his future.
Case in point: while Wilder has been pummeling tomato cans and walking punching bags, David Price has already defeated three fighters someone might have actually heard of before. Over his last three fights, Price has knocked out Raphael Butler, Tom Dallas and John McDermott—all three of them within the first two rounds. While none of these guys would be mistaken for title contenders, they are all, at minimum, bona fide competition for a rising challenger. Butler has been in the ring with the likes of Eddie Chambers, Chris Arreola and Malik Scott. Tom Dallas was an undefeated prospect himself at the time of the clash, and McDermott is a scrappy slugger who’s gone the distance with Price’s fellow undefeated prospect Tyson Fury.
So far, Price has handled his competition with ease.
Now that he’s due for a legitimate step-up fight, Price will face Sam Sexton (15-2, 6 KOs), whose only two losses came against notable heavyweight contender Dereck Chisora. While Chisora may be more famous for acting a fool outside the ring, what he has done inside the ring has been impressive in its own right. Anyone who can go the distance with Vitali Klitschko must be doing something right.
Beating Sexton won’t prove Price is on his way to the top, but it certainly won’t hurt the idea either. In fact, Sam Sexton is exactly the type of gatekeeper Price needs in order to prove himself at this point in his career. If he really is the future of heavyweight boxing, then he should defeat Sexton soundly, if not easily. But if he’s a pretender to the throne of heavyweight hopeful, Sexton is rough and tough enough to expose that in a flash.
Either way, we’ll get a price check this Saturday on the 27-year-old heavyweight from Liverpool.