SINCE being stopped by Tony Thompson twice in 2013, heavyweight David Price has flown under the radar. On Friday (July 17), the Liverpool fighter will face Erkan Teper for the vacant European title and plans to return to the spotlight with a bang. With a new world champion in Deontay Wilder and the rise of Anthony Joshua, Price, promoted by the Sauerlands, is ready to take on the big names in the banner division.
We’ve seen Deontay Wilder win his world title and now successfully defend it – what do you make of him as a world champion?
I’ve always said he’s a worthy champion because of his performance against Bermane Stiverne, he boxed really well, but I don’t know whether that’s more to do with Stiverne’s poor performance. In Wilder’s first defence, and no disrespect to his opponent Eric Molina, although he showed heart to get through the rounds, he was just not anywhere near world title challenger level. Wilder should have just got him out of there, but he took too long to do it because he became predictable. His only way of defending was jumping back with his chin in the air; someone with good head movement and who could get in range might have taken advantage of that. He’s still champion, but is he the best heavyweight on the planet apart from Wladimir Klitschko? I doubt it.
So do you think you would beat Wilder, if you were to fight?
I fancied my chances against him even before his fight with Molina, I always have. Although I like him and I like watching his fights, because he’s so wild and open I’ve always liked the idea of fighting him because I think I’d be able to land on him and I could knock him out. That said, he would probably be able to knock me out as well, that’s heavyweight boxing. He’s also vulnerable, he was buzzed by Molina but he shouldn’t have ever laid a glove on a world champion. I’d be ready to fight him at any time, but they won’t come looking for me, they won’t come looking
for someone taller and who hits harder than he does.
Do you feel as confident about having the beating of Anthony Joshua, too?
I feel exactly the same about Joshua, he’s a human being who can be knocked out. He looks great, but when people are standing there in front of him, standing on the ropes not throwing shots, it alters the way you fight, so Joshua is just walking forward and trying to press without thinking about anything coming back. I’m not taking anything away from him, but I believe I can beat him.
Would you be looking to fight him this year?
I would be, yeah, after I win the European title. I’ve been up for the fight ever since it was first mentioned, so for the past year, but at the same time I’m not spending my whole career waiting for [his promoter] Eddie Hearn to call Kalle Sauerland to make the fight. We’re on our own path and I believe if I can get this European title, I’m right in the world mix. I had a bit of an about-turn a couple of years ago, but I still think I’m on the path to where I was going. But they haven’t contacted us about making that fight.
The heavyweight scene has changed a lot since you were a potential world title challenger a few years ago. Have you felt left out or have you enjoyed being out of the limelight?
At first I didn’t mind it, but now I’m determined to prove a lot of people wrong, because people have been writing me off left, right and centre and no one considers me a real force at the moment, but that gives me added incentive to prove them wrong. Boxing is a fickle sport, I’ve only lost to one man, one man who albeit beat me twice, but other than that I haven’t put a foot wrong. It’s given me a bit of a chip on my shoulder. In the past I’ve never believed in using people doubting me as motivation, because they’re not worth it, but the more experienced I’ve become I’ve realised that any motivation is good motivation, so I use it as well as my own positive motivation.
I can’t wait to prove a lot of people wrong, some people think I’m a one-trick pony but people haven’t seen half of what I’m capable of, but they’ll get to see it in the coming fights.
The June 26 show at the Echo Arena in Liverpool would have been a good opportunity for that. How disappointing was it to have to pull out of that card with a neck injury?
It was disappointing but at the same time I believe it happened for a reason, because this opportunity for the European title has presented itself. It’s a good belt to win and get me a good ranking to put me right in the mix, and it’s given me that fire. I had that fire for June 26, but I didn’t have an opponent sorted for a long time, so it’s good to know who I’m fighting and that it’s for a title.