By Kevin Francis, courtesy of The Daily Star
TONY THOMPSON is aiming to propel David Price nearer a world heavyweight title shot tonight – by dumping him on his backside!
The pair meet at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, with veteran Thompson convinced he can be the first person to beat the giant Scouser.
Price has sailed through his 15 professional bouts and has high hopes of breaking into the world title mix by the end of this year.
But the two-time world title challenger believes Price can fulfil his dreams – after first learning a valuable lesson.
He said: “David is going the right way but sometimes you have to fail the test and still pass the course.
“Every fighter needs to take a knock or two before making it and that’s what will happen to David when he meets me.
“It will set him back but only temporarily because I do think David is going to be one of the world’s best heavyweights in the future.”
Price is managed by Frank Maloney, who successfully moulded Lennox Lewis into an undisputed world champion.
And Thompson added: “Frank has a track record of making champions and I think David will be his next world champion.
“David has been moved along well and this is a great step up in his evolution.
“Everybody needs tough fights to prepare them if they want to become a heavyweight champion of the world.
“You cannot go to that level if you have not been tested and this will be a real test for David.
“I still have to show that I am at world level and that will mean defeating him.
“I honestly think that after I beat him, David will then move on upwards. I feel that I will be helping him fulfil his world title ambitions by beating him.
“He is going to find things out about himself in this fight that will help him improve.
“He can learn a lesson and then go on to be world champion.” Thompson, 41, has twice faced-off against world champion Wladimir Klitschko, losing in six rounds last July and in 11 four years earlier.
So it is no wonder Price, 29, is taking the American, who has won 36 of his 39 contests, very seriously. He said: “The fact that he fought Klitschko in his last fight was enough to convince me that he is the type of opponent I want.
“It’s a step up for me and if I can do a job on Thompson, it will be a real statement that I can move on to that world title level.
“I have said that I want to be ready for a world title challenge by the time I have had 20 fights.
“And I now feel I am well on target for that.”
THE heavyweight clash between Price and Thompson will be screened live on BoxNation, WealthTV and streamed on wealthtv.com at 2:30PM EST.