By Martin ‘The Brain’ Potter of the Boxing Clever Podcast
Henry Cooper, Frank Bruno, Lennox Lewis, David Haye; all former British heavyweight boxers and names that resonate with the British public on an equal footing with other great British sports stars from across the sporting spectrum.
With David Haye in semi-retirement, the search is well under way to find the next British heavyweight, who – like a fistic X-Factor winner – can break through into the mainstream and seep into the conscience of the great British public. Out of the current crop of hard-hitting hopefuls there are three names that stand out: Dereck ‘Del Boy’ Chisora, Tyson Fury and David Price. But which one – if any – will emerge as a world champion?
Both Chisora and Fury are huge characters who provide a seemingly endless stream of quality sound bites. Fury tends to vent his spleen in typical boxer fashion, insisting that he’s the best out there and will beat up all of his rivals, a feat he has achieved thus far in his 17-0 career. Chisora is less conventional with his trash talk, instead opting to use somewhat bizarre ‘homoerotic’ mind games – he once kissed an opponent full on the lips at a weigh-in, and at the pre-fight press conference for his European title tilt he told his opponent that he was going to ‘make love’ to him! The ‘big-mouth’ tactics have led to big media coverage for both men.
Whilst Chisora and Fury have gained a profile from their talking as well as their fighting ability, David Price has remained far more reserved, letting his somewhat eccentric manager / promoter Frank Maloney do the talking for him. As a fighter though, Price is more than a match for both ‘Del Boy’ and Fury, with a superior set of technical skills to both of his rivals. Tyson Fury, who stands 6 ft 9 inches, doesn’t use his size advantage particularly well; often pawing with his jab or throwing reckless haymakers. Price – a conqueror of Fury in the amateur ranks – is also huge, standing 6 ft 8 inches, but he deploys an accurate ramrod jab, complimented by a sledge-hammer straight right. Price uses the range well and thus far in his career he hasn’t been dragged into the kind of brawls that we have seen both Chisora and Fury in.
Although Price may hold the technical advantages (in my opinion), he hasn’t fought the same quality of opposition as his contemporaries or achieved what they have achieved. Chisora and Fury have both won the British title, with the latter taking the belt from the former in an absorbing contest last year, yet Price is still fighting the likes of domestic stalwart (and former Fury victim) ‘Big’ John McDermott. Chisora’s next bout is against WBC world champion Vitali Klitschko…
So it seems that Dereck Chisora and Tyson Fury will remain the main men on the domestic heavyweight boxing scene in 2012, with ‘Del Boy’ looking to defeat the mighty Klitschko (and make it big in China?!) and with Fury surely looking for a shot at one of the brothers K towards the end of the year. However, as fun as both fighters are to watch, and as funny as they are to listen to, I don’t believe that either man has quite what it takes to become a world-class world champion. Chisora has ability but lacks athleticism and dedication, evidenced by his ‘preparation’ for the Fury fight; his training seemingly done in a doughnut factory. Fury has the size and seems to want it, but his constant trainer hopping has stalled his development and I simply don’t believe that he is as good as he thinks he is.
Although David Price may have to continue to relinquish the limelight to his more boastful boxing colleagues in 2012, by the time 2013 rolls around he could be the last British heavyweight hopeful standing. As a former three-time ABA champion, Commonwealth games champion and Olympic bronze medallist, the unbeaten David Price could be the world-class heavyweight talent we are looking for. His time may not be right now, but I believe that the Price will be right!
For more ill-informed boxing opinion and poor attempts at humour from ‘The Brain’, tune into the Boxing Clever podcast, available on iTunes or at www.boxingclever.libsyn.com. You can also contact me via email on firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter @theboxingbrain or @boxingcleverpod