By Kevin Francis, courtesy of The Daily Star
TYSON Fury has written off his big domestic rival David Price by insisting: Fighting him would be a backwards step.
British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion Price was sensationally stopped by 41-year-old American Tony Thompson on Saturday.
It was a first professional defeat for the 29-year-old Scouser, who admits the result has now put his bid to get on to the world title scene back by around six months.
Fury, 24, has repeatedly been linked with Price for what would be a crowd-pulling domestic dust-up.
But, from his training camp in Italy, he told me that such a contest is not on his radar, saying: “He has never been on my level.
“He has never been a threat, which is quite obvious to see from his fight with Thompson. It was a defeat against a much older fighter.
“I am two years ahead of David Price and I am knocking on the door to the world stage and moving in a different direction.”
Fury, unbeaten in 20 pro bouts, is currently training for his American debut against Steve Cunningham in New York on April 20.
While Fury is aiming to muscle into the world title mix, his uncle and trainer Peter believes that Price should now take a leaf out of Amir Khan’s book. Khan bounced back from a shock first-round defeat by Colombian Breidis Prescott in September 2009 to win his next seven fights.
He said: “I think he has got to go back to the drawing board and learn how to box properly. He has got to do what Amir has done.
“He has got to learn his trade properly, but a lot depends on how his mind is working after this defeat.
“He has had 15 fights and everyone is thinking he will be the real deal. He had never been hit in his professional career and now he has been stopped by a fading, older American. OK, Tony Thompson has had two world title challenges, but he should never have been able to land that punch on Price, who is a younger man in his peak.
“Tyson is fighting Cunningham next and has fought Kevin Johnson – these are fighters at their peak, not old has-beens.
“He is getting 50-50 fights because he is ready to challenge for a world title, so it is a bit of an insult to us to take a backwards step and fight David Price.
“Price can get a world title chance. He has been badly knocked out, so he has got to dig deep into his soul and learn properly.”