David Price, Audley Harrison to fight
Heavyweight David Price, a 2008 British Olympic bronze medalist and widely considered one of the best prospects in the division, has been mentioned by heavyweight champion brothers Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko as a potential future opponent.
It is a bit too soon for Price to take on that kind of challenge, but he is taking a big step up in competition for his next fight. Price will face British countryman Audley Harrison, the 2000 Olympic super heavyweight gold medalist and former world title challenger, on Oct. 13 at the Echo Arena in Price's hometown of Liverpool, promoter Frank Maloney announced on Monday.
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The announcement of the fight was coupled with the announcement that Maloney has signed a one-year, five-fight deal with British subscription boxing network BoxNation to televise his events. Price is the linchpin of the deal, but Maloney's other fighters will also appear on the network. The television deal comes after Sky Sports recently dropped Maloney's events from its lineup of fights.
Price (13-0, 11 KOs), 29, will defend his British and Commonwealth titles -- traditional belts for British fighters to pursue before moving on to the European title or a world title -- against Harrison, whom Price has a lot of respect for.
"Audley was an inspiration to me when I was younger, someone our amateur squad always looked up to," Price said at Monday's news conference in London, which Harrison did not attend, to announce the fight. "(Harrison) called me before Beijing to offer advice, which I'm grateful for, but he's still getting flattened."
The 40-year-old Harrison (28-5, 21 KOs) entered the pro ranks with massive fanfare after winning a gold medal but has had a largely disappointing career. The nadir came in November 2010 when he was handed a world title shot by David Haye but threw virtually no punches and was knocked out in the third round of a fight roundly criticized by the British public and media. The Sky Sports pay-per-view fight was so savagely skewered that Sky abandoned its pay-per-view business.
Harrison, who is 6-foot-5, 255 pounds, returned after an 18-month layoff to knock out Ali Adams in the fourth round in May, setting himself up for the fight with the 6-8, 245-pound Price, who won the vacant British and Commonwealth titles with a fourth-round knockout of Sam Sexton in May.
Not only was Price excited to face Harrison, he also was pleased with Maloney's new BoxNation deal.
"I'm happy that the public will get the opportunity to see the next phase of my career develop on BoxNation," he said. "Frank has sorted out the business outside of the ring for me, and I'll continue what I do best inside the ring by continuing to win fights and titles that will culminate in the ultimate prize -- the world heavyweight crown.
"The next step is Saturday, Oct. 13, at the Liverpool Echo Arena against Audley Harrison, and I look forward to putting on a great show for the BoxNation viewers and fans in attendance."
Maloney knows a thing or two about heavyweights. He guided another Brit -- Hall of Famer Lennox Lewis -- to the heavyweight championship. He is hoping to do the same with Price.
"I'm looking forward to joining the new home of TV boxing, BoxNation, to develop who I believe is the most exciting heavyweight talent since Lennox Lewis," Maloney said. "It will be a battle of the Olympians when he clashes with Harrison in his first fight for BoxNation and a fight he's looking to make a big statement."
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