• Heavyweight

Maloney: Price is undercooked for Thompson fight

ESPN staff
January 24, 2013
Frank Maloney, left, says there is not enough European competition for David Price © PA Photos

David Price's four knockout wins in 2012 are scant preparation for his upcoming fight with Tony Thompson, according to his promoter Frank Maloney.

Thompson, 41, is 12 years older than Price but his sturdy career record of 36-3, with two of his losses coming against Wladimir Klitschko, worries Maloney.

Price stands at 15-0 and after last year's convincing performances, which included a destruction of Audley Harrison in 82 seconds, he is widely tipped as a potential world champion.

But Maloney says his man could really do with three more fights to harden him up before getting in the ring with The Tiger on February 23.

"Ideally, Price would have fought someone of this calibre after three more fights, given that Thompson has faced world champion Wladimir Klitschko twice," Maloney told the Daily Telegraph. "But the bottom line is that there are not the domestic or European challengers there for David at the moment, and we needed to move him on."

Price has admitted his own frustration at the lack of suitable opponents for him in the heavyweight division. But a long talked about encounter with fellow Briton Tyson Fury carries its own risks, with Price having said it could leave one of their careers in tatters.

Yet the Liverpudlian, 29, bit the the bullet by agreeing terms with Thompson and insists he is treating his opponent with the respect.

"I'm taking a chance with this fight because Thompson is a very experienced, tall, southpaw fighter with a good defence," Price added. "But these are the kind of fights that can also advance my career quickly."

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