By Kevin Francis, courtesy of The Daily Star
DAVID PRICE faces the toughest test of his pro career tonight when he bids to become English heavyweight champion.
He meets John McDermott at the Liverpool Olympia in a bout that doubles as an eliminator for the British belt.
Since collecting bronze at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 Price, 28, has come through 11 professional contests unbeaten.
But McDermott, one year his junior, poses a severe threat to the giant Liverpudlian, who can’t afford to slip up.
His manager and promoter Frank Maloney said: “David’s SDHp career has been handled right.
“He is learning in the gym what he has got to do but that isn’t as important as the fights.
“You don’t go to Oxford or Cambridge and graduate straight away. You have a three-year course to go through.
“David has learnt in the gym and the quality of his opponents has picked up each time. This is his A-level test and if David comes through it, we go to the next level.
“But if John throws a spanner in the works and we fail the A-level, we go back to the drawing board.
“It is all about learning and preparation. Anybody can get to 20-0 and fight for a title – but it is about winning and keeping that title.
“That is the object of David Price’s career. David is not taking his eye off this fight.
“He knows this is his hardest to date and anybody who under estimates John McDermott is making a big mistake.”
Price agrees that McDermott, who blasted away Larry Olubamiwo in just one round last time out, is a big danger.
He said: “McDermott has had three times as many pro fights as me and is very experienced.
“This fight won’t be as easy as some people think.
“But I am determined to succeed, in what promises to be a very big year for me.”
McDermott knows this could be his final opportunity to make a big impact in the division.
He said: “This is my last chance. If I lose, there is no point in carrying on. I am way too good to become a journeyman. I am above that.
PREDICTION: It will be a tough ask for Price, but I fancy him to win around the sixth.