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Price must KO Thompson if he wants to be taken seriously

David Price Tony ThompsonBy Thomas Cowan: British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion takes another step towards a world title challenge when he faces American veteran Tony Thompson on Saturday. Price has a 15-0 record, with 13 of his wins coming by way of knockout but he needs to be fighting more rounds if he is going to be ready to challenge for a title.

The 6ft 8in giant hasn’t really got anything out of his last few fights because the likes of Audley Harrison and Matt Skelton clearly didn’t belong in the same ring as him.

Price feels that 41-year-old Thompson is the man to correct this problem. He told British newspaper Daily Mail, “I ought to get rounds off a fighter of Tony Thompson’s calibre. He’s gone 17 rounds with Wladimir Klitschko who’s the best in the world. I’ll be prepared for rounds – that’s for sure – he’s going to ask questions of me.”

I’m not going to disrespect Thompson by saying he’s a bad fighter because he isn’t but all this talk about going 17 rounds with Klitschko is slightly misleading. In 2008, Thompson took Wladimir 11 rounds and fought an excellent fight where he really tested the huge Ukranian and I thought it was a shame Thompson didn’t get to the final bell because his performance didn’t deserve a knockout loss.

After 5 straight knockouts for Thompson, Wladimir gave him a rematch last year which turned into one of the worst fights of the year. Thompson never looked like troubling Klitschko even though the American took the early rounds. It was a bit like the Broner vs Rees fight last weekend where Rees took the opening rounds but as soon as Broner decided enough was enough and started throwing some serious shots there was nothing Rees could do. Wladimir took Thompson down in 6th round but he could have finished it in 2 if he really wanted to.

This is why Price shouldn’t be thinking that anyone’s going to be impressed if he gets a hard fought decision win on Saturday because Thompson is good but doesn’t look like he’s got much left in the tank. If Price wants rounds he should be fighting younger guys like Johnathan Banks, Bryant Jennings and Tyson Fury. If Price was demolishing those kind of fighters, people would sit up and take notice. Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee the other contenders would want to fight Price because of his immense power.

Although Thompson is past his best, he is a step up from fighting Harrison and Skelton and he’s fairly well known so I can see why Price and his promoter Frank Maloney were eager to make this fight. I think Price will be too strong for Thompson and I expect him to cruise to another easy win.

Prediction – Price to win by KO (4th Round)

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