By Simon Crawford
David Price knows "the sky's the limit" if he can take care of business against domestic heavyweight rival John McDermott on Saturday.
The 28-year-old 2008 Olympic bronze medallist boasts an unbeaten record in the paid ranks (11-0 9KOs) and faces McDermott in an eliminator for the British title currently held by Tyson Fury.
With Londoner Dereck Chisora fighting for Vitali Klitschko's WBC world heavyweight title, Liverpudlian Price knows he can't afford any mistakes against McDermott on home soil at the Olympia.
"I know there is a lot of pressure on me because winning this fight would open up a lot of opportunities," Price told Sportinglife.com.
"I'm looking forward to it more than anything in my life. I usually get butterflies, but not this time - I'm looking to enjoy it but I also know I have to produce.
"It's a British title eliminator but I always take one fight at a time. It's dangerous to get too far ahead of yourself. But there's no doubt the sky's the limit if I can win.
"Chisora lost the British title last summer, should have picked up the European belt and is now fighting for a world title so it looks to me that the gap between British title and world title is not too big at the moment.
"It does whet my appetite to see Chisora get his chance, but I'm in no hurry. I need the right fights at the right time as I know it must be tough to get to the top, but even tougher to stay there - and at the top is where I want to be."
Price had been due to meet McDermott in November, but the 6ft 8in 2006 Commonwealth Games gold medallist was forced to pull out after suffering a rib injury while sparring with former England amateur team-mate Danny Price.
It means his last outing was back in June, when he stopped Tom Dallas inside two rounds.
However, Price is confident the injury setback is fully behind him.
The injury is spot on now and I'm having no problems with it whatsoever," he said. "It would have been physically impossible for me to have fought in November. I have a lot of respect for John McDermott and I would not get in the ring if I was nothing less than 100 per cent.
"There was a lot of pain and it's amazing how much you use your ribs. It helps with balance and even everyday things like driving the car proved to be a problem. But I had three weeks rest and I was straight back into it.
"I've sparred about 80 rounds with some big lads and some heavy punchers and I feel good. I'm very grateful to the promoters and to John that we've been able to re-arrange the fight so quickly."
McDermott, 31, the reigning English heavyweight champion, has fought for the British strap on three previous occasions without success.
He twice tested Tyson Fury and his last outing saw him beat Larry Olubamiwo inside a round after flooring him twice, so Price is wary of his experienced opponent who has a 26-7 (17KOs) record.
"First and foremost I'm looking to win the fight, but I also know I have to look good doing it because I think that's a necessary part of boxing these days," he said.
"I'd like to make a statement but I also know that John McDermott is a seasoned pro and a tough man so I'm not going to go in there throwing bombs.
"If the opportunity comes to get him out of there, then I'll obviously take it but I'm happy to be patient and use my skills."
Tags: David Price