DAVID PRICE has expressed his disgust at the IBF ranking Erkan Teper third in the world at heavyweight, despite the German failing a drugs test after knocking Price out in two rounds last year.
Although the EBU would not change the result to a No Contest, they did strip Teper of the European crown he won against Price and banned him from competition for two years.
Teper remains the IBF’s top-rated contender despite the failed drugs test, while Price – ranked fifth before his loss to Teper – does not feature in their top 15, and the Liverpudlian wants justice.
“I’ve been pretty coy on all of this drug testing thing, because of the way I am and I don’t want to ruffle too many feathers but it’s got to the point now where too many things have happened, it’s like; ‘f*** me, how many times is this going to be ignored?’” he told Boxing News.
“I’ve been beaten by a man who’s cheated me. He’s number three, and in the rankings a month before the fight I was number five with the IBF. If I hadn’t have been cheated, where would I be now? That’s my point.”
Price has not fought since his loss to Teper, and the heavyweight landscape has undergone some huge changes in the interim.
Tyson Fury, of course, dethroned Wladimir Klitschko, only for the IBF title he won to be stripped from him, before it eventually fell into the possession of 2012 Olympic champion Anthony Joshua, who will make the first defence of his bauble against big underdog Dominic Breazeale on June 25.
Price, who won Olympic bronze in 2008, is calling on the IBF to reinstate him back into their top 15, should he win his next fight – which will be on the undercard of Tony Bellew’s fight with Illunga Makabu for the vacant WBC world cruiserweight crown, slated for May 29 at Goodison Park.
“The way things have panned out with the IBF, Anthony Joshua’s champion, he’s just announced he’s fighting Dominic Breazeale, who’s number 13. I should have been in that top 15 had I not been cheated,” Price said.
“What my argument is – or my demand even – is that when I get back and active again, I should be put back where I was before I was cheated. I’m not saying I should be back at number five, but I should be in that top 15 where I’d be able to hold my hand up and say ‘I’ll fight Anthony Joshua in a voluntary defence’ if he’s got another one.
“The reason why it burns me so much is because of the situation with Anthony Joshua being champion. Imagine if I was in the top 15, I’d have been the natural opponent for him. In an Olympic year, I’ve got an Olympic medal, he’s got an Olympic medal, two big giants from the UK. It would sell. But because I’ve been cheated I’ve missed out on a massive opportunity. But we’ll see how it plays out.”
Price’s other two losses came to American Tony Thompson, who also tested positive for banned substances after his second fight with David. He was banned for 18 months but, inexplicably, his infringement only came to light two years after the fact.
Naturally, after suffering his third inside-schedule reverse last July, Price had some personal demons to contend with before he resumed his career. The news of Teper’s failed test was only revealed five months after the result came in, and Price rightfully feels he should have been notified much sooner.
“It’s had a domino effect, the things that happened. I had to wait five months to find out,” he continued.
“If I’d found out pretty much straight away, when I should have found out, that might have changed my outlook mentally and emotionally and I might have got back in the gym quicker, back in the ring quicker.
“I’ve been cheated and that’s the top and bottom of it. I’m not gonna be apologetic about it, or say things people want to hear. I’m gonna keep f***ing banging on about it. It’s happened twice now.
“I think the right thing would be when I’ve had a fight, no matter who it’s against, if I win then I should be back in the top 15. Then I’d be in a position where an opportunity might present itself soon, with everything that’s going on.
“Initially we were thinking I’d have to drop down a level and work my way back up but no, I f***ing shouldn’t. I’ve been cheated, twice. I’m standing my ground. I belong on a level playing field, if someone manages to knock me out, and they’re a clean athlete, then I’ll hold my hands up and say ‘OK, fair enough.’”
Boxing News reached out to the IBF regarding the situation, and they explained that Teper remains in their rankings because the EBU have not yet given formal notification of Teper’s ban. If the EBU were to provide this notification, the IBF would ‘recognise the suspension,’ which presumably would mean Teper would be removed from their rankings.
Conveniently enough, Teper will be removed from the rankings next month by default, due to inactivity.