Price will fight Sergey Kuzmin, an unbeaten 12-0 Russian prospect. The Briton was the last man to box Povetkin, who halted David in Cardiff in March to set up his shot at WBO, WBA and IBF heavyweight champion Joshua. Kuzmin similarly will be looking to use Price to catapult himself into the upper tier of heavyweight boxing.
Although the Liverpudlian heavyweight has taken this at short notice, he was preparing for an October 5 bout that fell through. Price is taking a gamble, but it’s a calculated risk. Victory over Kuzmin, on an event of this scale, will lead him on to significant heavyweight fights.
Kuzmin’s professional career has not been extensive but he was, for a time, Russia’s leading amateur super-heavyweight. He won the European championships in 2010 and took a silver medal in 2013. Kuzmin beat Joe Joyce in those Europeans, catching him cold and stopping him. He did not qualify for the Olympic Games, with Magomed Omarov preferred over him by the Russian team selectors.
But not before Kuzmin became one of Anthony Joshua’s amateur victims. Cast your mind back to February 2012 in Debrecen, Hungary, before Joshua had won Olympic gold. Now Joshua is the unified heavyweight champion, then he was a World silver medallist and he beat Kuzmin 9-7 in the semi-finals of the Bocskai tournament, where Joshua also won gold.
So make of that what you will.
Price himself is positive about the chance, even though come sooner and against a tougher opponent than he was expecting. “It’s all been late notice but I was training to fight in Belfast anyway,” David said. “It means I’ll have to squeeze in my sparring as the fight is only nine days away but I’ll come out all guns blazing on the night.
“It’s just great. I got a huge buzz last time being part of such a big occasion. There’s nothing like the feeling of a big fight night and I’m excited to be part of another one.
“Opportunity knocks again and I’m hoping to get some good support on the night. I was a massive underdog in the Povetkin fight. Kuzmin isn’t as well known but he’s serious and they plan to have me as just a name on his record.
“I’m a banana-skin for any undefeated prospect coming through. Going into this one I’m drawing on all the positivity of my experience last time and the fans’ reaction.
“People know when they come to watch me fight that it’s going to be exciting one way or another. This time, however, I’m confident it’s me who’ll come out on top. All I care about is getting in there and taking him out.”
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