By Jake Donovan
The lone medalist from the 2008 U.S. Olympic boxing squad is set for his next ring appearance to take place during the heart of the 2012 Summer Games. While the next crop of amateur stars ply their trade in London, unbeaten heavyweight Deontay Wilder embraces his toughest test to date as he faces Kelvin Price on August 4 at the Mobile (AL) Civic Center.
Tickets for the clash of towering and unbeaten heavyweights went on sale last Saturday. Moderately priced at $77, $42 and $22, tickets will be made available at the venue’s box office can be purchased in person or over the phone by calling (251) 208-7906. Fans can also purchase tickets through Ticketmaster, on its website (www.ticketmaster.com) or hotline (800-745-3000).
Wilder spared the 2008 U.S. Olympic squad the embarrassment of being shut out during the Beijing Games when he managed to capture a bronze medal. The overall team output was still the worst in more than 50 years of international competition, yet the lone form of salvation came from the squad’s least experienced amateur fighter.
The transition to the pro ranks has been smooth, as Wilder has literally been a knockout every time out. There have been grumblings of being matched soft, though next month’s challenge – which airs live on Fox Sports and Fuel TV - is a big step in the right direction.
"I want to be the heavyweight champion of the world,” insists Wilder. “Being the main event on FoxSports Net against a talented fighter like Kelvin Price is a step toward realizing my dream.”
Both fighters stand at 6’7” and took a late start to the sport after excelling at other sports in high school. The fight represents a rarity for Wilder in that he will see eye-to-eye with his opponent and also that he possibly concedes hometown advantage.
It can be argued that Price (13-0, 6KO) boasts the stronger resume, solely on the strength of a past win over Tor Hamer. The victory looks even better in light of Hamer’s recent success in the UK Prizefighter tournament last month. While the fight takes place in Wilder’s home state of Alabama, the Mobile venue is closer to that of Price’s hometown of Pensacola, Florida.
“Kelvin’s resume went up considerably,” notes Jay Deas, who has guided Wilder’s career since the amateur days. “He’s a good fighter. It’s two undefeated tall fighters going in there. We’re certainly expecting to do our thing.”
Wilder is coming off of a 3rd round knockout of Owen Beck last month in Tuscaloosa. The August showdown with Price will mark his fourth fight of 2012, keeping in line with an active campaign that has featured 6-7 fights per year in each of his first three full years as a pro.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox