By James Wilson
After an eventful 2012 for Britain's top four heavyweights 2013 promises to be even bigger. Whilst David Price and Tyson Fury's continued feud is the most obvious thing to mention, Dereck Chisora faces an important year and David Haye could end up having a career defining year.
Haye's next fight continues to be an enigma. Is it happening? Is it not? Nobody bar his prospective opponent knows, it would seem. Vitali Klitschko, now 41-years-old, continues with his political aspirations in his native Ukraine. However whilst the Londoner continues to state that everything has been agreed, and all it needs is for Vitali and his team to say when and where, the silence from Ukraine continues to be deafening and slightly irritating for fans.
A win over the WBC champion would go some way to repairing Haye's reputation, with some who saw his challenge against Vitali's brother Wladimir as a huge disappointment. Indeed, a win would likely pave the way for a rematch with Wladimir and a chance for Haye to show that he was indeed limited by a toe injury that night in Hamburg.
Haye's former opponent Dereck Chisora knows what it is like to face Vitali having lost a unanimous decision to him early in 2012. Chisora is now on a run of three consecutive defeats having a controversial decision loss in Finland to the highly regarded Robert Helenius and a KO defeat to Haye at Upton Park either side of his battle with Vitali.
It would appear therefore that Chisora may have some confidence building fights at a lower level in the early part of the year before stepping back up in class. A bout with Reading's Michael Sprott has been suggested by some experts as a good bout for Chisora to have once his licencing issues have been resolved. A summer showdown with Liverpool's David Price has also been rumoured.
Price has had a very active 2012 having amassed four quick KO victories. Whilst some have criticised his last two fights with Audley Harrison and Matt Skelton, few can argue with the way in which he dispatched both. Price faces a step up in class against American Tony Thompson in February at the Echo Arena. This fight should gauge the Liverpudlian's abilities above domestic class and a victory would also see his World ranking rise dramatically.
Although Thompson is now into his forties and has been inactive during the last two years he should be Price's biggest test to date with an impressive record of 36-3 which includes many victories over up and coming hopefuls who were dipping their toes into a higher class. The big question regarding David Price however will be whether a bout with Tyson Fury is possible.
Tyson Fury, like Price, had an active 2012 and again like Price faced criticism from some for facing sub standard opposition. A lop sided decision win over Kevin Johnson, however, left few in doubt over the Mancunian's abilities. 2012 was the year Fury really seemed to take his training seriously as he turned up at weigh ins looking in far better shape than in previous years as well as showing a vast improvement in technique during his bouts.
Fury is now very highly ranked by the WBC, and with his promoter, Mick Hennessy, having an excellent past record of getting his best fighters shots at this belt, Fury may be the best bet at getting a 2013 world title shot. Should he manage to get this opportunity and win, then a bout with Price goes from being unlikely to a distinct possibility.
Both camps have traded words over the past 6 months, however without a world title on the line boxing politics seems destined to get in the way. A belt would however give one side tremendous leverage and would give the other side a big incentive to take the bout.
Whether these fights happen or not the UK boasts it's most impressive list of heavyweight talent in many years. 2013 will doubtless be an eventful year.