• Heavyweight

Price hires Klitschko sparring partners

ESPN staff
June 3, 2013

David Price is pulling out all the stops as he looks to avenge his defeat by Tony Thompson, flying in Wladimir Klitschko's sparring partners and lining up twice as many rounds in the gym before their rematch.

Price, the reigning British heavyweight champion, could box as many as 100 rounds in the run-up to the July 6 fight at Liverpool's Echo Arena.

The Liverpudlian was stunned by Thompson in their first meeting after being caught by a right hand to the ear in the second round.

And the 29-year-old has tracked down a number of "world-class" southpaws after accepting that he was under-prepared for his first contest against the 41-year-old, who handed Price his first defeat as a professional.

"Last time we only did two weeks of sparring," Price's trainer Franny Smith told the Liverpool Echo. "We've already done some with a top international southpaw, who is in the process of turning pro.

"He has fought Erislandy Savon and Tyson Fury as an amateur. It was good quality sparring."

Price has spent three weeks in Canada working alongside mentor Lennox Lewis, but will now spend the next four weeks clocking up the rounds in the gym after freeing up the funds to ship in top-quality opponents.

"We did a little bit of sparring in Canada, although it wasn't the best," Smith added. "But we've got four weeks of sparring starting from today and we've got two world class heavyweights who have come from the Klitschko camp for his fight with Pianeta.

"Those two will be with us for the month and there are another two who will join us half way through.

"David made this happen by the amount of funds he has made available. I always want more sparring but the restraints are always financial.

"This is the amount of sparring I want and the amount Lennox says is required - Lennox would do between 60-100 rounds of sparring when he was fighting whereas David did 58 for the Thompson fight."

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