by Kevin Francis, courtesy of The Daily Star
DAVID PRICE is ready to prove he is a realistic world title contender when he tackles Tony Thompson next month.
The British heavyweight champ takes on the veteran American at the Echo Arena in his native Liverpool on February 23.
And 29-year-old Price is determined to show he is ready to muscle his way into the world title mix.
Thompson, 41, lost to WBO, WBA, IBF and IBO world champion Wladimir Klitschko in his last fight in July.
That sixth-round defeat was the second time he had met Klitschko, losing in the 12th round four years ago.
Price said: “It shows you how good Thompson is, when you think he has gone 17 rounds with the best boxer in the world.
“It’s a fight where I’m going to have to answer a lot of questions and it is up to me to come through the test.
“It’s a big fight. He’s a world-class fighter. If that’s not a test, I don’t know what is.
“It will be judged after the fight whether it was a test by how I deal with him.
“It’s an exciting fight, two levels above the level I’ve been fighting at. It’s up to me to raise my game.
“I proved I’m above domestic level and it’s time I prove I belong at this one after coming in under the radar.”
Price, unbeaten in his 15 pro fights, has moved steadily up the rankings under the shrewd guidance of promoter Frank Maloney.
He added: “I am ready to be let off the lead by Frank. I have been learning my trade and now it is time to strike.”
Thompson, who has won 36 of his 39 paid fights, said: “This is a great fight for me to prove I am still in the top echelon.
“I have lost to Wladimir Klitschko twice and there is no disgrace in that. It is my chance to show I’m still worthy of being a world champion.
“A lot of guys with 15 fights under their belt wouldn’t have stepped into the ring with a veteran like me, especially one who has fought in two world title fights.
“I have a lot to gain. David is a top-class fighter and is up against a guy who is supposedly on his way out.
“I have to get into the top four again to show I deserve another world title shot – and that’s what I intend to do.”
Price meets rugged American Thompson at the Echo Arena in Liverpool on February 23 – and YOU can be there.
We have five pairs of tickets to give away to lucky readers, courtesy of promoter Frank Maloney.
All you have to do for a chance to win is answer this simple question: In what weight division does David Price fight?