Boxing: David Price laughs off bizarre TV outburst by rival Tyson Fury
David Price laughed off a bizarre television outburst by domestic rival Tyson Fury in the aftermath of his one-round demolition of Audley Harrison.
British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion Price made sure the first-ever professional meeting between two British Olympians on Saturday night was short and brutal.
Harrison, surely now at the end of an underwhelming 12-year stint in the paid ranks following his march to gold in Sydney, was knocked out after 82 seconds as fans in Price’s home city of Liverpool were treated to a clinical display of fearsome power punching.
The Beijing bronze medallist drew rich praise from all quarters, with one notable exception.
Attending James DeGale’s successful European super-middleweight title defence against France’s Hadillah Mohoumadi in Kent, Fury lambasted Harrison, Price’s promoter Frank Maloney and Price himself – who he then bizarrely suggested had a “gay lover” in Liverpool’s British light-heavyweight champion Tony Bellew.
In the early hours of yesterday morning, Fury posted a video on his Twitter page where he repeated the bizarre claim and the improbable prospect of taking on Price and Bellew at the same time, telling the former: “I’m going to put you in intensive care.”
This echoed the 24-year-old Mancunian’s much-criticised threat of “killing you in the ring” before he fought Dereck Chisora in July last year – a jibe for which he apologised.
Reacting to Fury’s television diatribe, Price was perplexed. “He’s round the bend,” he said. “I don’t know what to make of that.
“He cannot handle other people getting praise and credit and that’s why he spat his dummy out on TV and made an absolute fool of himself”.
Robert Smith, general secretary of the British Boxing Board of Control, had no initial comment to make regarding Fury when contacted yesterday.
Speaking to Channel 5, Fury had said: “To be honest, Harrison’s the biggest bum inside boxing and my reaction to David Price and Frank Maloney calling me out – that midget (Maloney) yeah? I’ll fight David Price any day of the week.”
Turning to the camera to address Price directly, he added: “You see you, you plumber from Liverpool, it’s personal between me and you and I’m going to do you some serious harm, you big, stiff idiot.
“Also – it’s gonna need 10 plumbers to do you when I’ve got finished with you. Call me out, call me any names and you are getting it.
“And you know your gay lover Tony Bellew? I’ll fight him in between rounds.”
Saturday night’s victory was Price’s first defence of the British and Commonwealth belts he won over four rounds against Sam Sexton in May at Aintree.
Those titles were only available because Fury chose to vacate them when a clash between himself and then mandatory challenger Price was set to go to purse bids in February.
A clash with seasoned veteran Matt Skelton on 8 December is next on the agenda for Price, but with the clamour for a Fury showdown set to increase, the 29-year-old has little doubt what the outcome would be in a fight against his fellow unbeaten prospect.
“The man’s brilliant for me because, you know what, he’s going to make me a lot of money,” he said. “And it’s not going to be a difficult job taking his head off his shoulders because I will knock him out like I knocked Audley Harrison out.”
Some seasoned observers are already setting their sights higher. Building up to his own highly-anticipated ring return, Ricky Hatton took to Twitter to state his belief that Price is already good enough to beat heavyweight rulers Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko after 12 knockouts in 14 outings.
The man himself is happy to continue with his career progression and insists there is no rush to chase the division’s biggest prizes.
“Lovely comments from Ricky,” Price added. “I’ve got a lot of time and respect for Ricky Hatton. If he’s saying things like that I can only take it as a compliment. But we’ll do it in our own time. We’ll do it when we’re ready.”
Meanwhile, in California at the weekend, Nonito Donaire stopped Toshiaki Nishioka at 1 minute 54 seconds of the ninth round, defending his WBO super bantamweight title with a dominant performance in his 29th straight victory.
Donaire (30-1, 19 KOs) was less thrilling but more dominant, patiently waiting for openings against Nishioka (39-5-3) before knocking down the Japanese veteran in the sixth despite hurting his left hand during the bout.
Donaire, the Filipino-born fighter raised in California’s Bay Area, then put him down again with a vicious right hand in the ninth, and referee Raul Caiz stopped it after Donaire landed an uppercut moments later. Nishioka had won 16 straight fights since March 2004, but couldn’t keep up with Donaire’s combination of power and tactical skill.
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