Boxing


UK Boxing: David Price Signs With Maloney; Murray gearing up for war with Thaxton

OLYMPIC super-heavyweight bronze medallist David Price has signed a three-year promotional deal with Frank Maloney. Price, 26, will have his first fight under the Maloney banner at Sunderland's Seaburn Centre on October 16 and boxes again seven days later (Oct 23) at Bolton Arena. Maloney who famously steered Lennox Lewis to the world heavyweight title tips the 6ft 8in Liverpool star to reach the very top. He said: "With the right handling and the right fights David Price can become a superstar and a household name..

"Heavyweights are different to other boxers. They have to be handled and guided differently.

"If he knocks over a few people I certainly won't be rushing David quickly. Look how badly Tyson Fury was exposed after eight fights against John McDermott.

"It was the help and backing of Sky Sports that paid a big part in making Lennox a hero all over the world, and their support will also benefit David."

Maloney believes his record with heavyweights helped persuade Price to join his stable despite other offers.

He added: "Many people get heavyweights wrong, but I think my record with them is as good as anybody.

"The Lennox years are well documented, but I also spotted the potential of John Ruiz and Nikolai Valuev in their early years and helped develop them.

"Domestically I took James Oyebola and Julius Francis to titles and I have even taken an average fighter, Mike Holden to the British championship."

Price turned professional after his Olympic success and in his only paid fight to date in March stopped Dave Ingleby in three rounds.

David has been one of Britain's most successful amateurs in recent years and there is every belief he can take than form into the professional ranks

In 2006 he landed gold at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games defeating Welshman Kevin Evans in the final.

There was real hope that Price would repeat that success in last summer's Beijing Olympics when he stopped competition favourite Islam Timurziev in his preliminary round match

A win over Jaroslavas Jaksto guaranteed a medal, but in the semi-final Price lost to Italian Roberto Cammarelle and had to be content with a bronze medal.

Price represented his country all over the world winning many competitions including the Commonwealth Confederations and EU gold.

At home Price has been dominant winning three ABA titles while wearing the famous vest of Liverpool's Salisbury ABC during his amateur career of almost 100 bouts.

On his way to the 2006 ABA title among his victims was Fury who he easily outscored 22-8 in their clash.

Maloney stressed that he hasn't signed Price as a replacement for another Olympics Darren Sutherland who tragically died last week.

He explained: "I know people might think this has suddenly happened, but I first spoke with David at the beginning of the month.

"We had agreed terms a few days before the dreadful events of last week, but it was not the time to make any announcements."


Murray gearing up for war with Thaxton

John Murray says he won’t be fooled into believing that British title rival Jon Thaxton is past his sell by date. The unbeaten Murray squares off with veteran puncher Thaxton in an eagerly awaited clash for the vacant British Lightweight title at the Altrincham Leisure Centre on October 3rd.

The bout headlines a Hennessy Sports event and will be live on ITV4 and Murray says he’s preparing for the fight of his life despite Thaxton’s revelation that his own father thinks he should retire.

Thaxton senior told his son that he believes Murray will knock him out but the 24-year-old from Manchester says he’s not reading too much in to that prediction.

“I’ve heard about that but I think that’s probably just all talk,” said Murray. “It could all be just a plan to lull me into a false sense of security but that won’t be happening. I know how good Jon Thaxton is and what he’s capable of doing. He’s a very dangerous fighter and a good puncher and they say the last thing to go in a fighter is his punch so even if he is past his best he’s still going to be very dangerous.”

The 35-year-old Thaxton believes he has at least one more big performance in him and Murray believes that he may be right. “I’m preparing for the best possible Jon Thaxton because this is his last chance and I’m sure he’s going to be really up for this. It’s a fight we’ve both wanted and now that it’s happening I’m sure he’s every bit as up for it as I am.”

The Norwich veteran has endured a difficult 2009 to date losing his European title in February courtesy of a controversial points defeat to Frenchman Anthony Mezaache. His difficulties were further compounded in July when he suffered a shock points defeat to upset specialist Tom Glover but Murray doesn’t believe that the back to back defeats indicate that Thaxton’s glory days are nearing an end.

“I thought he was a little unlucky not to get the decision when he lost to Mezaache and last time out I think a combination of taking his eye off the ball and fighting out of his natural weight class cost him against Glover but I’m fully expecting him to be back to his best for this one.”

Murray lost the British title on the scales in July when he failed to make the 9 stone 9 pound lightweight limit for a defence against Scott Lawton by just 2 ounces. Murray says it was down to a “miscalculation” on the day of the weigh in and is confident that he will have no problems making the weight this time around as he bids to win back his old title.

“I got it wrong last time around with the weight but I’ve no worries for this fight. I’ll have no problems making lightweight. My training’s gone really well for this fight and I’ve left no stone unturned in my preparations. I’ve brought in good sparring partners from Europe to try and get guys as close as possible to Thaxton’s southpaw style and I’m feeling really sharp right now.”

Murray was also made the mandatory challenger for Mezaache’s European title recently but for now he says his only focus is on beating Thaxton.

“I’m in a great position now in terms of the European title and the deadline for negotatioations for the Mezaache fight is actually the same date as the Thaxton fight but he’ll be the only thing on my mind that day because if I don’t get past Thaxton then my European chance will go out the window.”

Tickets for the bout priced £30 and £70 are available from the Ticketline box office on 0844 888 4402 or via www.ticketline.co.uk.

Article posted on 23.09.2009



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