By Kevin Francis, courtesy of The Daily Star
TYSON FURY was last night branded a chicken for ducking a clash with his big domestic rival David Price.
Fury yesterday gave up his British and Commonwealth heavyweight titles rather than climb into the ring with Price.
Scouser Price was mandatory challenger for both belts and purse bids for the fight were due to be opened at noon yesterday.
But Fury’s camp withdrew hours before that to leave Price, who last week turned down a £100,000 offer from Fury’s promoter Mick Hennessy, stunned.
Price’s promoter Frank Maloney said: “Chicken Fury was going to get the biggest payday of his career to date.
“He has let himself, his fans, his travelling community and the boxing world down.
“This is a decision that Fury will now live to regret.
“The nearest he will get to a world title fight is being given a nickname like ‘Chicken Bowe’ like Riddick Bowe did when he refused to fight Lennox Lewis.
“I’m disappointed for David Price and British boxing. This would have been the biggest payday for either fighter.
“We turned down the £100,000 bid because we knew that, if it went to purse bids, Price would earn more than that.”
Hennessy said: “We have a great schedule in place for Tyson on Channel 5 and I’m not prepared to have that affected by other promoters, purse bids and titles.
“Fury against Price was a quality fight and in my opinion it should go out to the widest possible audience – that’s why I offered David Price £100,000 to fight Tyson Fury on Channel 5.
“Unfortunately, it was rejected by his promoter on Monday.”
Fury said: “It’s been an honour to have won and held both the British and Commonwealth heavyweight titles, but as I’m now currently No.7 in the world, it’s time to move on.
“If David Price really believed he could beat me, the smart move would have been to take the great payday that was offered by my promoter.”