Price vs. Sexton for British heavy title

It’s difficult not to get drawn into the hype that

surrounds Englishman David Price, the UK’s latest heavyweight

hope. On Saturday night at Liverpool’s Olympia, local boy

Price gets his chance at the vacant British title when he takes on

Norwich’s Sam Sexton.

Price, 28, is the next big thing, and follows a couple of years

in which British heavyweights have been crawling out of the

woodwork. David Haye flattered to deceive, Dereck Chisora achieved

a certain kind of notoriety, and Tyson Fury continues to impress

and intrigue.

Beside these three mavericks Price represents the establishment

— a bronze medalist in Beijing, and captain of the English

team, Price has done things by the book both as an amateur and

professional. He’s compiled an impressive 12-0 record, with

10 wins inside distance, and has looked mightily good doing so. In

his last two fights Price accepted his biggest challenges with

aplomb — knocking out fellow prospect Tom Dallas in two

rounds, and then dispatching the not untalented John McDermott in

just over a minute.

Saturday’s opponent Sexton represents another step up and

forward for Price. Sexton (15-2, 6 KOs) has only lost to Chisora

(twice), once while challenging for this title, and is a former

Commonwealth champion in his own right. He’s a tough and

relentless campaigner who carries a dig and won’t roll over


Price, of course, has all the physical advantages. At 6-foot-8

he would tower over a Klitschko, and he’ll take around a

20-pound advantage into the ring with Sexton. He is favored to win,

but there’s a hidden constituency that aren’t yet

buying into the hype. As an amateur Price at times demonstrated a

brittle chin, and that part of his game has yet to be tested in the

pro ranks, along with his stamina and willingness to go into the

trenches in a long, hard fight. Sexton could be the man to put

those qualities to the test, and after this contest we’ll

have a much more accurate idea of Price’s world title


On the undercard, British light-welterweight champion Ashley

Theophane defends against Darren Hamilton. Hamilton (11-2, 3 KOs)

came to boxing late, and at 33 will find things tough against the

up-and-coming Theophane (31-4, 9 KOs), who’s on a six-fight

winning streak, and looking better with every outing. The

well-travelled British champion should win this one handily, and

begin looking toward European honors.