David Price appears to want a world title shot against IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua in the worst way. Price (20-3, 17 KOs) wants the title shot so much that he’s bringing up an old sparring session from 2011 in which he says he knocked Joshua out. I suppose thinking process is if Price talks to the media enough about the sparring episode, it could lead to Joshua giving him a title shot.
I’m not sure if Price’s bragging about the sparring session will lead to him getting the fight with Joshua though, because it’s not just about trying to get the 26-year-old former 2012 Olympic gold medalist worked up enough to want to give him the fight.
It’s also about whether the British boxing public would be willing to purchase a fight between Joshua and Price on Sky Box Office. My thinking is they won’t want any part of a mismatch like that, because Price’s career has not worked out. While Joshua has gone on to win a gold medal in the Olympics and then capture a world title in the pro ranks, Price has suffered losses to Tony Thompson [x 2] and Erkan Teper. Price, 33, did win his last fight in May against someone named Vaclav Pejsar, but that was against a 2nd tier fighter. It wasn’t a world class guy, and Price did not look good in that fight. Pejsar backed Price up against the ropes in the fight and worked him over with some solid shots to the head. One can only see that fight and wonder what would have happened to Price if he was in the ring with a semi-talented heavyweight with a little bit of punching power. I doubt that Price would have made it out of round one.
“It’s probably the worst kept secret in boxing and it’s something that I’ve never really brought up or mentioned,” Price said to skysports.com about his sparring session with Joshua from 2011. “When it happened, Joshua was an amateur on the GB squad and I was a novice pro and I kept it to myself because he was an up and coming potential boxer. I wanted to protect him from it, didn’t want to go around boasting about it.”
Price was a better fighter back in 2011 than he is now in my view. Even though Price’s chin was probably no better than it is today, he appeared faster of hand and he was a very aggressive fighter because he still was unbeaten. The Price that exists nowadays is slower, less aggressive, and makes fundamental mistakes by backing up against the ropes, not using his jab enough, and standing too close to his opponents. Price gives up his height easily against shorter foes, and that’s been with him since he turned pro. Why his trainers never taught Price to keep his opponents on the outside is the big question.
Maybe Price isn’t listening to them. Whatever the case, I think he would be blasted out in one round by Joshua if that fight were to happen. Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn would likely be skewered by the British boxing fans for putting together a mismatch between Joshua and Price. I doubt that Hearn wants to be on the receiving end up a backlash against him for such a mismatch. It’s bad enough that Joshua has been matched against largely weak opposition his entire 17-fight career. I’m sorry, but I don’t consider Charles Martin and Dominic Breazeale as being good heavyweights, and those are Joshua’s biggest wins of his pro career if you’re not counting his victory over the injured Dillian Whyte from last year.
“I’m someone who would definitely be interested in having a shot at it, and I thought the time was right to let the cat out of the bag and let people know,” said Price about Joshua. “Will he see my face and remember what happened when we were across the ring? Possibly.”
Sparring doesn’t mean much in my book. Anyone can be hurt in boxing. Just because Joshua got clipped with a big shot and hurt by Price in a sparring session five years ago doesn’t mean that Price could do it again. Maybe he could. Price hits hard enough, but if he didn’t land the perfect shot to Joshua’s chin in the first round, then I couldn’t see him making it to the 2nd round. Price is too vulnerable.
The thing is, I don’t think Price would be willing to come out fast against Joshua due to his past knockouts. I think Price would take it slow, thinking he can avoid getting hurt by boxing carefully. That in turn would lead to Price getting knocked out straightaway by Joshua, because if you don’t give him any resistance, then he goes after you right away. If Price is smart, he would come out swinging in round one and look to take Joshua’s head off. Maybe Price could get lucky if he fought like that. It’s hard to tell. But like I said, I think Price would fight cautiously from the start of the fight and he’d get blasted to smithereens right away.
Joshua’s promoter Hearn is expected to announce his next opponent shortly for his next title defense in November. The candidates for that fight are Bermane Stiverne, Kubrat Pulev and Joshua Parker. Stiverne is likely the guy he’ll be facing if they can negotiate the fight. If not, then it’ll be Pulev. Parker is probably too dangerous for Hearn to select right now. I see him waiting until 2017 before he makes that fight. Parker has the punching power, jab and the mobility to create a lot of problems for Joshua.
I don’t know what Price is going to be able to do with his career. I suspect that he’ll get a title shot sooner or later if he fights enough fodder opponents to get ranked highly. But I don’t see it working out for the 6’7” Price once he does fight for a title. I think get blasted out by all of the current heavyweight champions.